Who's in charge of privacy issues? Agencies have until March 11 to figure it out

Who's in charge of privacy issues? Agencies have until March 11 to figure it out

Agencies must name a senior official in charge of information privacy issues by March 11.

Clay Johnson III, the Office of Management and Budget's deputy director for management, said in a memo to department executives that an agency's privacy officer should play a 'central role in overseeing, coordinating and facilitating' efforts to comply with federal rules such as the Privacy Act.

In the memo, Johnson said an agency's CIO or another senior official may perform this role.

Johnson's instructions to agencies followed the fiscal 2005 Treasury, Transportation and General Government appropriations bill, which requires all agencies to name a chief privacy officer [See GCN story.]

Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) vowed to take the law off the books because it adds another layer of bureaucracy that contradicts existing statutes.

Whether Davis is able to remove the mandate or not, OMB is requiring agencies to name someone who will ensure privacy procedures are up-to-date, work with relevant agency offices in consideration, adoption and implementation of the practices and play a central role in the development and evaluation of legislative, regulatory and other policy proposals that deal with information privacy issues.

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