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January 7, 1999
MEMORANDUM FOR HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
FROM: Jacob J. Lew /s/
SUBJECT: 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
The current review is an important part of the Administration's privacy
agenda. We look forward to working with your agencies during this review.