A r c h i v e d I n f o r m a t i o n
Memorandum on Privacy Act and FOIA Working Groups
August 6, 1998
As the Chief Information Officer, my responsibilities include the protection of individual privacy in the use of personally identifiable information, which is covered in the Privacy Act, and ensuring Departmental openness and accountability to the public by providing access to information (FOIA). Two recent events require heightened attention and commitment to improve these programs, for which I am seeking your assistance.
The first event concerns Privacy Act systems of records. On May 14, 1998, the President issued a memorandum involving Privacy and Personal Information in Federal Records. In this memorandum, the President directed agencies to conduct, within one year, a thorough review of their Privacy Act systems of records and their practices regarding the collection or disclosure of personal information.
The second event involves the FOIA program. On June 12, 1998, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) completed a Management Review of the FOIA program. The OIG made recommendations to ensure the Department's compliance with the recently amended FOIA.
In response to these requirements, I am establishing two working groups: 1.) the Privacy Act Working Group, which will review our Privacy Act systems of record and 2.) the FOIA Working Group, which will review the new amendments and implement the OIG's recommendations to improve the FOIA program.
I am requesting each Principal Officer to designate, by August 21, individuals to serve on the Privacy Act or the FOIA Working Group. Attached is a list of contacts who currently work with us on these issues. Names and questions regarding the Privacy Act Working Group should be forwarded to Chiquitta Thomas via E-mail or phone 708-9265. Names and questions regarding the FOIA Working Group should be forwarded to John Tressler via E-mail or phone 708-8900. Also attached, are additional documents for you and your designated Principal Office contact.
Thank you for your support of this important effort. Please contact me at 401-0085, or Hazel Fiers at 401-1194, if you need any additional information.
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Last Updated on 1/27/2003 (rd)