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Notice

Proposed Implementation Guidance for Title V of the E-Government Act, Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002 (CIPSEA)

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The Confidential Information Protection andStatistical Efficiency Act of 2002 (CIPSEA) can provide strong confidentiality protections for statistical information collections, such as surveys and censuses, as well as for other statistical activities, such as data analysis, modeling, and sample design, that are sponsored or conducted by Federal agencies. The purpose of the proposed CIPSEA implementation guidance is to inform agencies about the requirements for using CIPSEA and clarify the circumstances under which CIPSEA can be used. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requests comments on the proposed Implementation Guidance for Title V of the E-Government Act, the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002. The complete text of the proposed guidance is available on the OMB Web site at http://www.whitehouse.gov/​omb/​inforeg/​statpolicy.html.

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Authority: 31 U.S.C. 1104(d); 44 U.S.C. 3504 (specifically (a)(1)(B)(iii) and (v), (e)(1), (3) and (5), and (g)(1)); Pub. L. 107-347 503(a), 44 U.S.C. 3501 note.

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DATES:

To ensure consideration during the final decision-making process, written comments must be provided to OMB no later than December 15, 2006.

ADDRESSES:

Due to potential delays in OMB's receipt and processing of mail, respondents are strongly encouraged to submit comments electronically to ensure timely receipt. We cannot guarantee that comments mailed will be received before the comment closing date. Electronic comments may be submitted to: Brian A. Harris-Kojetin at bharrisk@omb.eop.gov. Please provide the full body of your comments in the text of the electronic message and as an attachment. Please include your name, title, organization, postal address, telephone number, and e-mail address in the text of the message. Comments may also be submitted via facsimile to (202) 395-7245. Comments may be mailed to Brian Harris-Kojetin, Ph.D., Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street, NW., New Executive Office Building, Room 10201, Washington, DC 20503. All comments submitted in response to this notice will be made available to the public, including by posting them on OMB's Web site. For this reason, please do not include in your comments information of a confidential nature, such as sensitive personal information or proprietary information.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Brian Harris-Kojetin, Ph.D., Statistical and Science Policy Office, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, NEOB, Room 10201, 725 17th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20503. Telephone: 202-395-3093.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

Statistics collected and published by the Federal Government constitute a significant portion of the available information about the United States' economy, population, natural resources, environment, and public and private institutions. There are more than 70 Federal agencies or organizational units that carry out statistical activities as their principal mission or in conjunction with other program missions, such as providing services or enforcing regulations. In addition to these 70 agencies, many other Federal agencies or units may collect statistical information to use for specific program needs.

Prior to the enactment CIPSEA, a patchwork of legislative protections governed the confidentiality of data gathered for statistical purposes by the different agencies and units. Some agencies had strong statutory authority to protect the confidentiality of the data they gathered for statistical purposes, while other agencies had weak or no legislative authority to protect confidentiality. In addition, the ability of the designated statistical agencies to share information to improve the Start Printed Page 60773efficiency of the Federal statistical system was limited by statutory constraints affecting those agencies.

By establishing a uniform policy for all Federal statistical collections, this law will reduce public confusion, uncertainty, and concern about the treatment of confidential statistical information by different Federal agencies. By establishing consistent rational principles and processes to buttress confidentiality pledges, the guidance that implements the law will harmonize confidentiality claims and set minimum standards for safeguarding confidential statistical information. Such consistent protection of confidential statistical information will, in turn, reduce the perceived risks of more efficient working relationships among statistical agencies, relationships that can reduce both the cost and reporting burden imposed by statistical programs.

Development and Review

In 2003, OMB and the other members of the Interagency Council on Statistical Policy (ICSP) formed an interagency group to discuss issues that OMB and the agencies anticipated would arise in the implementation of CIPSEA. OMB was particularly interested in understanding the questions and concerns that these statistical agencies had about the new law and how it would affect their activities. OMB also sought to incorporate the best practices of these agencies for handling confidential statistical information.

An initial draft of this implementation guidance was reviewed by the ICSP members, and OMB revised the draft guidance in response to the comments that we received. Based on the use of the law by agencies over the past three years, OMB has also addressed in the proposed guidance specific issues that have arisen, such as nonstatistical agencies' use of CIPSEA.

Issues for Comment

With this notice, OMB requests comments on the proposed Implementation Guidance for Title V of the E-Government Act, the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002 (CIPSEA). OMB seeks comments from interested parties on all aspects of this proposed guidance. In particular, OMB seeks comments on the appropriate use of CIPSEA by statistical and nonstatistical agencies, and the appropriate wording for CIPSEA and non-CIPSEA pledges. OMB also seeks comments on the necessary elements for contracts and written agreements for agents covered in Appendix A of the guidance.

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Steven D. Aitken,

Acting Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

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[FR Doc. E6-17086 Filed 10-13-06; 8:45 am]

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