January 7, 1999
MEMORANDUM FOR HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
FROM:Jacob J. Lew
DirectorSUBJECT:Instructions on complying with President's Memorandum of May 14, 1998, "Privacy and Personal Information in Federal Records"
This memorandum provides instructions to agencies on how to comply with the President's Memorandum of May 14, 1998 on "Privacy and Personal Information in Federal Records." In his Memorandum, the President directed Federal agencies to review their current information practices and ensure that they are being conducted in accordance with privacy law and policy. The President also directed OMB to issue instructions to the agencies on how to conduct this review.
Attached is a copy of the President's Memorandum, along with the instructions for conducting the review and for reporting to OMB on the results. Under the President's Memorandum, agencies are to complete their reviews and report to OMB by May 14, 1999.
Ensuring that the Federal government protects the privacy of personal information is a priority of this Administration. As stated by the President, privacy is a cherished American value. To preserve and promote this value, the United States created a statutory framework in 1974 governing how the Federal government collects, maintains, uses and disseminates information about certain individuals which is embodied in the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552a, as amended. Earlier in this Administration in June 1995, the Information Infrastructure Task Force issued Principles for Providing and Using Personal Information as a statement of this Administration's policy on privacy.
The current review is an important part of the Administration's privacy agenda. We look forward to working with your agencies during this review.