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RICHARDSON PREYER, North Carolina, Chairman

LEO J. RYAN, California

PAUL N. MCCLOSKEY, JR., California
JOHN E. MOSS, California

DAN QUAYLE, Indiana
MICHAEL HARRINGTON, Massachusetts JOHN N. ERLENBORN, Illinois
LES ASPIN, Wisconsin
PETER H. KOSTMAYER, Pennsylvania
TED WEISS, New York
BARBARA JORDAN, Texas

EX OFFICIO
JACK BROOKS, Texas

FRANK HORTON, New York
TIMOTHY H. INGRAM, Staff Director
EDWARD H. O'CONNELL, Counsel

EDWARD J. GLEIMAN, Counsel
RICHARD L. BARNES, Professional Staff Member

79-1601701

1/30/29

rien
G6608
1990

CONTENTS

6C 79

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INFORMATION POLICY ISSUES RELATING TO CONTRACTOR DATA AND ADMINISTRATIVE MARKINGS

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 1978

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 10:10 a.m., in room 2247, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Ted Weiss (acting chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.

Present: Representatives Ted Weiss and Paul N. McCloskey, Jr.

Also present: Timothy Ingram, staff director; Robert Gellman, counsel; Anne Sullivan, professional staff member; and Catherine Sands, minority professional staff, Committee on Government Operations.

Mr. WEISS. The Subcommittee on Government Information and Individual Rights of the Committee on Government Operations is now in session.

We deal today with two issues which have a profound impact on Government information which is generated by a contractor when working on a Government project, but which is not turned over as part of the final product. What happens to that data, and who can have access to it and use it commercially, are concerns which agencies have dealt with in inconsistent ways.

As far as the committee can determine, there is no Government policy or policies. Consequently, data which is either worth considerable money, or may contain sensitive personal information, end up in contractors' hands, with no Federal controls over its use.

We will first hear from Lester A. Fettig, Administrator for Procurement Policy, of the Office of Management and Budget.

We will also receive testimony from representatives of the General Accounting Office, who will present the initial findings of an audit requested by the Subcommittee on Agency and Contractor Compliance with certain requirements of the Privacy Act. The Privacy Act contains a limited provision that requires contractors who maintain personal files on individuals, which would otherwise be maintained by the contracting agency, are to comply with the Privacy Act's standards. GAO has indicated there is limited compliance with this provision.

The second issue we will deal with concerns the use of administrative markings by Federal agencies. These labels-"eyes only,' "for official use only," "administratively confidential,” and so on

(1)

are applied to limit access, both by the public and by employees within Government.

Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman William Bagley recently dramatically announced that he was throwing into the Potomac River the rubber stamps his agency used. This was the only effective way, in his words, that confidential stamps could be eliminated.

There may be quieter ways to achieve the balance between legitimate privacy and confidentiality needs of government and the requirements of public availability of government documents.

Robert Saloschin, chairman of the Justice Department's Freedom of Information Committee, will present his thoughts on the issue.

First, we will hear from Mr. Fettig, of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. Mr. Fettig, please identify yourself for the record. We have your prepared statement, and you can, if you wish, just summarize it for the benefit of the subcommittee.

STATEMENT OF LESTER A. FETTIG, ADMINISTRATOR FOR FED.

ERAL PROCUREMENT POLICY, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT
AND BUDGET; ACCOMPANIED BY THOMAS WILLIAMSON, AS-
SOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR FOR ACQUISITION LAW, OFFICE
OF FEDERAL PROCUREMENT POLICY
Mr. FETTIG. I would be pleased to do that, Mr. Chairman.

I am Lester Fettig, Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. Accompanying me on my right is Tom Williamson, Associate Administrator for Acquisition Law.

I think it would be appropriate, just as a matter of introduction, to describe the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, so the hearings can have proper context. It is a part of OMB, the only part established by a separate public law which gives us direct authority over all procurement policy, procedures and regulation. The congressional intent in passing the law was to create for the first time a higher level focal point to deal with matters of uniformity and interagency issues in contracting, just such as this one.

I should point out, in addition, the authority extends to all procurement under grants. It does not extend statutory authority to grants per se, but if a party is receiving Federal grant money and, in turn, using it for procurement, then the authority of the office does follow along.

The committee's draft report I have read and studied over the weekend, the “Ownership, Use and Disposition of Information in the Possession of Federal Contractors and Grantees." The central finding that there is no comprehensive Federal policy is correct in the sense that there is no one place for any contractor to turn for guidance in all circumstances. We do not have a central comprehensive policy.

I will raise a question at the outset as to what form such a comprehensive policy might or should take, particularly if what is intended is a detailed set of regulations or clauses that might cover all circumstances in the future. I agree with the committee's observation that there is certainly potential for abuses, some of which is postulated and hinted to in the report, but, as it pointed out, it is very difficult to find any concrete evidence of abuse taking place today.

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