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AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE

PRIVACY PROTECTION STUDY COMMISSION

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 9, 1976
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

GOVERNMENT INFORMATION
AND INDIVIDUAL Rights SUBCOMMITTEE
OF THE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS,

Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:15 a.m., in room 2247, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Bella S. Abzug (chairwoman of the subcommittee) presiding.

Present: Representatives Bella S. Abzug and Clarence J. Brown.

Also present: Eric L. Hirschhorn, counsel; Anita W. Wiesman, clerk; and Thomas H. Sullivan, minority professional staff, Committee on Government Operations.

Ms. ABZUG. The Government Information and Individual Rights Subcommittee will be in order.

We meet this morning to hear testimony on three bills-H.R. 13681, H.R. 13682, and S. 3135—relating to the authorization of appropriations for the Privacy Protection Study Commission created under the Privacy Act of 1974.

Without objection, the text of these measures will be included in the record at the conclusion of my opening remarks, along with the text of the Privacy Act.

The Privacy Act of 1974 was born in this subcommittee. Its substantive provisions sought to accomplish three basic reforms with respect to records maintained by Federal agencies: first, to require that all systems of records be publicly announced; second, to permit every American to have access to records about him maintained by Federal agencies and to secure correction or expungement of any inaccuracies in such records; and third, to limit the disclosure of such records without the consent of the subject.

The Privacy Act was signed into law on December 31, 1974, and took effect on September 27, 1975. Since its enactment this subcommittee has been very active in overseeing the promulgation of implementing regulations and the general administration of the act. Problems have begun to appear here and there, and we hope in the not too distant future to deal with some of them legislatively if they cannot be cleared up administratively.

The Privacy Act also established the Privacy Protection Study Commission and gave it two basic responsibilities: first, to study public and private information systems in order to determine the standards and procedures in force for the protection of personal

(1)

information; and second, to recommend to Congress and the President the extent to which the substantive aspects of the Privacy Act should be applied to the private sector.

The Commission was also specifically directed to study such matters as exclusion from mailing lists, limitation of the dissemination of tax information by the Internal Revenue Service, whether damages should be available when the Federal Government violates the Privacy Act, and what security standards should be applied when a personal record is disclosed to a person or entity not directly covered by the act. The legislation also enumerated various other areas of study open to the Commission.

The Commission has thus far held a number of hearings in pursuit of its studies, at one of which I had the pleasure of testifying on the recordkeeping practices of credit card issuers. It has also begun a number of projects not involving hearings.

Section 9 of the Privacy Act authorizes the sum of $1,500,000 for the work of the Commission. It also places a limit of $750,000 upon the amount the Commission may expend in any 1 fiscal year.

The Commission has asked that the authorization be increased by $500,000 to $2 million, and that the fiscal year expenditure limitation be repealed. S. 3435 and H.R. 13682 would accomplish both of these, while H.R. 13681 would only remove the fiscal year expenditure limitation.

(The bills and Public Law 93-579 follow :)

94111 CONGRESS

2D SESSION

H. R. 13681

IN TILE IIOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Mur 11, 1976 Ms. Abzug (by request) introduceıl the following bill; which was referred

to the Committee on Government Operations

A BILL
To amend the Privacy Act of 1974.

1

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa

2 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, 3 That section 9 of the Privacy Act of 1974 (88 Stat. 1910) 4 is amended by striking out“, except that not more than 5 $750,000 may be expended during any such fiscal year”.

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91TH CONGRESS

21 SESSION

H. R. 13682

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Mar 11, 1976 Ms. Abzug (by request) introduced the following bill; which was referred

to the Committee on Government Operations

A BILL

1

To amend the Privacy Act of 1974.

Be it enacted by the Senate and Ilouse of Representa2 tives of the United Siates of America in Congress assembled,

3 That section 9 of the Privacy Act of 197+ is amended to

4 read as follows:

5

“Sec. 9. There is authorized to be appropriated, without

6 fiscal year limitation only to such extent or in such amounts 7 as are provided in appropriation Acts, the sum of $2,000,000

8 to carry out the provisions of section 5 of this Act for the

9 period beginning July 1, 1975, and ending on September 30,

10 1977..

I

94TH CONGRESS

2D SESSION

S. 3435

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

MAY 20, 1976
Referred to the Committee on Government Operations

AN ACT To increase an authorization of appropriations for the Privacy

Protection Study Commission, and to remove the fiscal year expenditure limitation.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa2 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, 3 That the provision of law referred to in the note immedi4 ately preceding section 553 of title 5, United States Code,

1

5 is amended to read as follows:

6

"SEC. 9. There is authorized to be appropriated, with7 out fiscal year limitation only to such extent or in such 8 amounts as are provided in appropriation Acts, the sum of

9 $2,000,000 to carry out the provisions of section 5 of this

10 Act for the period beginning July 1, 1975, and ending on

11 September 30, 1977.”.

Passed the Senate May 19, 1976.
Attest:

FRANCIS R. VALEO,

Secretary.

I

73-314 0 - 76 - 2

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