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US Department of Education Principal Office Functional Statements
Office of Management

Functional Statements > Office of Management

PRIVACY, INFORMATION AND RECORDS MANAGEMENT SERVICES

Privacy, Information and Records Management Services (PIRMS) provides leadership, oversight, and coordination to ensure Departmental compliance with Federal laws governing the acquisition, release and maintenance of information. In particular, this relates to the following activities within the Department of Education (ED):

  • Freedom of Information Act (FOIA);
  • Privacy Act (including privacy safeguards);
  • Federal Records Act (records management and retention);
  • Paperwork Reduction Act (information collection clearances)
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); and
  • The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA).

PIRMS is responsible for providing policies, standards, and procedures that ensure ED complies with governmental information management requirements in the above areas. In addition, PIRMS provides guidance and instruction to assure that customers are supported in the performance of these efforts.

PIRMS is headed by a Director who is also the Department’s Chief Privacy Officer. The Director serves as a champion for privacy awareness and education across the agency.

PIRMS is divided into the following Divisions:

Office of the Director

The Office of the Director provides oversight, direction, and guidance to the PIRMS staff. This office prepares and manages the PIRMS budget and serves as the liaison with the OM Executive Office. The Director serves as FOIA Public Liaison.

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FOIA Service Center

The FOIA Service Center (Center) is responsible for ensuring agency compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). In particular, the Center operates the agency case management system that responds to FOIA requests. The Center advises the public and ED employees regarding FOIA requests.

In performing its responsibilities, the Center:

  • Ensures the prompt, courteous, efficient and successful handling of all FOIA and Privacy Act requests received by the Department;
  • Serves as the primary office for requestors to obtain information about the status of a FOIA request, and the agency’s response;
  • Oversees agency compliance with FOIA management policies and operating procedures;
  • Provides guidance and instruction to Department staff for the appropriate receipt, handling, and recording of FOIA and Privacy Act requests;
  • Develops and provides print and web-based training to Department employees and contractors regarding the unit's mission;
  • Furnishes reliable, accurate, and timely information on FOIA compliance as required by relevant laws, statutes, regulations and directives, including mandated reports on the status of ED's FOIA operations;
  • Oversees the successful implementation and management of Department-wide systems and databases that support the successful and efficient handling of FOIA requests; and
  • Coordinates disposition of all Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) appeals received by the Department.

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Privacy and Information Collections Clearance Division

The Privacy and Information Collections Clearance Division is responsible for ensuring agency compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act. The Division also provides guidance and instruction to Department staff regarding processes and procedures regarding the protection of personally identifiable information, including Privacy Act Systems of Records Notices (SORNs) and Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs). The Division is responsible for PIRMS’ accountability to the Chief Information Officer in ensuring that appropriate and timely action is taken with respect to systems, processes, and reviews pertaining to the information clearance process.

In performing its responsibilities, the Division:

  • Oversees agency compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, OMB guidance and directives and internal ED policies. Analyzes proposed information collections packages to ensure minimum response burden and cost on the public;
  • Serves as the Department’s primary liaison with OMB in the analysis and clearance of information collections to assure compliance with internal policies and OMB guidance and directives;
  • Develops clear and consistent business rules (standards) to expedite information collection clearance activities across the Department.;
  • Provides guidance to Department staff to respond to OMB requirements and promotes opportunities, including partnerships, to reduce burden;
  • Provides instruction to Department staff to ensure up-to-date communication on Paperwork Reduction Act guidelines and directives. Promotes the use of streamlined information collection clearance methods and enterprise-wide systems;
  • Develops and provides print and web-based training to Department employees and contractors regarding the unit's mission;
  • Furnishes reliable, accurate, and timely information on past, current and pending collections, principally to Principal Offices and OMB; and
  • Oversees the implementation and management of Department-wide systems and databases that support the successful and efficient handling of information collection clearance requests.
  • Serves as the Department’s primary liaison with OMB and other agencies on inter-agency privacy safeguard and breach notification initiatives.
  • Provides guidance and instruction to Department staff regarding processes and procedures regarding the protection of personally identifiable information, including Privacy Act Systems of Records Notices (SORNs) and Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs);
  • Develops and provides print and web-based training to Department employees and contractors regarding the unit's mission;
  • Oversees the implementation and management of Department-wide systems and databases that support the successful and efficient handling privacy safeguards administration; and
  • Coordinates inter-agency development, review and approval of Computer Matching Agreements (CMAs) in support of the Department’s Data Integrity Board.

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Records and Documents Management Division

The Records and Documents Management Division is responsible for developing and implementing strategies and programs designed to ensure compliance with federal information management requirements.

In performing its responsibilities, the Division:

  • Serves as the Department’s principal authority and representative on records management statutory, regulatory and policy requirements to assure compliance with National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) directives;
  • Develops clear and consistent business rules (standards) for records management; administrative safeguards for protecting personally identifiable information; and risk-based information breach notification actions;
  • Provides guidance and instruction to Department staff for the appropriate handling, maintenance, and disposition of records;
  • Develops and provides print and web-based training to Department employees and contractors regarding the unit's mission;
  • Oversees the implementation and management of Department-wide systems and databases that support the successful and efficient handling of records administration; and
  • Provides direction and oversight to the Department’s Administrative Communications System.

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Family Policy Compliance Division

The mission of the Family Policy Compliance Division (called the Family Policy Compliance Office outside of the Department) is to administer laws related to parental and student rights:  the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA); and the Armed Forces Access to Student and Student Recruiting Provision.

In performing its key processes, the Division:

  • Manages the Department's implementation of FERPA, responding to inquiries from customers which include parents, students, school officials, congressional staff, and the general public;
  • Processes and investigates complaints alleging violations of FERPA, negotiates solutions, and provides technical assistance and in-service training to educational agencies and institutions and, when warranted, recommends enforcement action to the Secretary;
  • Manages the Department's implementation of PPRA, responding to inquiries from customers which include parents, students, school officials, congressional staff, and the general public;
  • Processes and investigates complaints alleging violations of PPRA, negotiates solutions, and provides technical assistance and in-service training to educational agencies and institutions and, when warranted, recommends enforcement actions to the Secretary;
  • Reviews regulations to ensure compliance with the criteria set forth in Executive Order 12606, the Family, September 2, 1987;\
  • Administers requirements under Section 9528 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, which requires the disclosure of directory-type information (students' names, addresses, and telephone listings) to military recruiters

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Last Modified: 08/26/2013