OMB wants privacy review details in FISMA reports

Beginning this year, agencies will have to provide more details about the privacy reviews they conduct as part of annual reporting in compliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act.

The Office of Management and Budget is adding the requirement starting with the fiscal 2008 FISMA submission “to maintain a comprehensive context for security and privacy of federal information across government,” said Clay Johnson, OMB’s deputy director for management, in a memo released Jan. 18.

Agencies will report the number of each type of privacy review performed along with information about the advice the senior agency privacy official provided during the year, whether is was formal written policies, procedures, guidance or interpretations of privacy requirements issued by the agency.

Agencies also will account for the number of written complaints for each type of privacy issue allegation that the privacy official received, including process and procedural issues, such as consent, collection and appropriate notice; redress issues, such as non-Privacy Act inquiries seeking resolution of difficulties or concerns about privacy matters; and operational issues, such as inquiries regarding Privacy Act matters not including requests for access and/or corrections. OMB also wants to know the number of complaints agencies referred to another agency with jurisdiction for each type of privacy issue received for alleged privacy violations.

In the past two years, OMB has issued several memos directing agencies to implement privacy and security requirements, such as reducing the unnecessary collection of Social Security numbers and other personally identifiable information and implementing data breach notification response teams. Agencies also conduct privacy impact assessments on new and revised systems that collect personally identifiable information to assure privacy and security of the data.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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