When a system or organization processes information for the purpose of conducting a matching program:
- Obtain approval from the Data Integrity Board to conduct the matching program;
- Develop and enter into a computer matching agreement;
- Publish a matching notice in the Federal Register;
- Independently verify the information produced by the matching program before taking adverse action against an individual, if required; and
- Provide individuals with notice and an opportunity to contest the findings before taking adverse action against an individual.
The PRIVACT establishes requirements for federal and non-federal agencies if they engage in a matching program. In general, a matching program is a computerized comparison of records from two or more automated PRIVACT systems of records or an automated system of records and automated records maintained by a non-federal agency (or agent thereof). A matching program either pertains to federal benefit programs or federal personnel or payroll records. A federal benefit match is performed to determine or verify eligibility for payments under federal benefit programs or to recoup payments or delinquent debts under federal benefit programs. A matching program involves not just the matching activity itself but also the investigative follow-up and ultimate action, if any.