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Frank Horton, Chairman COMMISSION ON FEDERAL PAPERWORK Mark O. Hatfield
Louis B. Knecht
Elmer B. Staats
Warren Buhler, Director
The President of the United States
In behalf of the Commission on Federal Paperwork, pursuant
The Commission found that confidentiality requirements limiting disclosure of information are "inconsistent at best and chaotic at worst" and are a major cause of duplicative Federal data collection activities.
Accordingly, the Commission recommends the development of uniform standards of confidentiality for various categories of information, based on a balancing of the Government's need for secrecy and the individual's right to privacy, on the one hand, and the public's right to know, on the other. Consideration must also be given to the need for sound and efficient government administration. Thus, the report suggests that certain information which may not be publicly disclosable should be made available for intragovernmental use. The Commission also recommends the establishment of a new independent organization to oversee compliance with confidentiality standards and with other Federal information laws.
Legislation embodying these recommendations would not only help eliminate duplicative data requests but would establish the framework for guaranteeing the fundamental rights which are basic to our system of government.