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H.R. 2885 (rh) To provide uniform safeguards for the confidentiality of information [Reported in House] ...
106th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 2885 _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES October 27, 1999 Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Governmental Affairs _______________________________________________________________________ AN ACT To provide uniform safeguards for the confidentiality of information acquired for exclusively statistical purposes, and to improve the efficiency and quality of Federal statistics and Federal statistical programs by permitting limited sharing of records among designated agencies for statistical purposes under strong safeguards. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Statistical Efficiency Act of 1999''. SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS. As used in this Act: (1) The term ``agency'' means any entity that falls within the definition of the term ``executive agency'' as defined in section 102 of title 31, United States Code, or ``agency'', as defined in section 3502 of title 44, United States Code. (2) The term ``agent'' means a person who-- (A) is designated by a Statistical Data Center (as designated in section 3) to perform exclusively statistical activities authorized by law under the supervision or control of an officer or employee of that Statistical Data Center; and (B) has agreed in writing to comply with all provisions of law that affect information acquired by that Statistical Data Center. (3) The term ``identifiable form'' means any representation of information that permits information concerning individual subjects to be reasonably inferred by either direct or indirect means. (4) The term ``nonstatistical purpose'' means any purpose that is not a statistical purpose, and includes any administrative, regulatory, law enforcement, adjudicatory, or other purpose that affects the rights, privileges, or benefits of a particular identifiable respondent. (5) The term ``respondent'' means a person who, or organization that, is requested or required to supply information to an agency, is the subject of information requested or required to be supplied to an agency, or who provides that information to an agency. (6) The term ``statistical activities''-- (A) means the collection, compilation, processing, or analysis of data for the purpose of describing or making estimates concerning the whole, or relevant groups or components within, the economy, society, or natural environment; and (B) includes the development of methods or resources that support those activities, such as measurement methods, models, statistical classifications, or sampling frames. (7) The term ``statistical purpose''-- (A) means the description, estimation, or analysis of the characteristics of groups without regard to the identities of individuals or organizations that comprise such groups; and (B) includes the development, implementation, or maintenance of methods, technical or administrative procedures, or information resources that support such purposes. SEC. 3. DESIGNATION OF STATISTICAL DATA CENTERS. (a) In General.--Each of the following is hereby designated as a Statistical Data Center: (1) The Bureau of Economic Analysis in the Department of Commerce. (2) The Bureau of the Census in the Department of Commerce. (3) The Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Department of Labor. (4) The National Agricultural Statistics Service in the Department of Agriculture. (5) The National Center for Education Statistics in the Department of Education. (6) The National Center for Health Statistics in the Department of Health and Human Services. (7) The Energy Consumption Division of the Energy Information Administration in the Department of Energy. (8) The Division of Science Resources Studies in the National Science Foundation. (b) Designation.--In the case of a reorganization that eliminates, or substantially alters the mission or functions of, an agency or agency component listed in subsection (a), the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, after consultation with the head of the agency proposing the reorganization, may designate an agency or agency component that shall serve as a successor Statistical Data Center under the terms of this Act, if the Director determines that-- (1) the primary activities of the proposed Statistical Data Center are statistical activities specifically authorized by law; (2) the proposed Statistical Data Center would participate in data sharing activities that significantly improve Federal statistical programs or products; (3) the proposed Statistical Data Center has demonstrated its capability to protect the individual confidentiality of any shared data; and (4) the laws that apply to the proposed Statistical Data Center are not inconsistent with this Act. (c) Notice and Comment.--The head of an agency seeking designation as a successor Statistical Data Center under this section shall, after consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, provide public notice and an opportunity to comment on the consequences of such designation and on those determinations upon which the designation is proposed to be based. (d) Prohibition Against Increase in Number of Centers.--No action taken under this section shall increase the number of Statistical Data Centers authorized by this Act. SEC. 4. STATISTICAL DATA CENTER RESPONSIBILITIES. The Statistical Data Centers designated in section 3 shall-- (1) identify opportunities to eliminate duplication and otherwise reduce reporting burden and cost imposed on the public by sharing information for exclusively statistical purposes; (2) enter into joint statistical projects to improve the quality and reduce the cost of statistical programs; (3) safeguard the confidentiality of individually identifiable information acquired for statistical purposes by assuring its physical security and by controlling access to, and uses made of, such information; and (4) respect the rights and privileges of the public by observing and promoting fair information practices. SEC. 5. LIMITATIONS ON USE AND DISCLOSURE OF DATA AND INFORMATION BY STATISTICAL DATA CENTERS. (a) Use of Statistical Data or Information.--Data or information acquired by a Statistical Data Center for exclusively statistical purposes shall be used by the Center only for statistical purposes. (b) Disclosure of Statistical Data or Information.--Data or information acquired for exclusively statistical purposes shall not be disclosed in identifiable form, for any purpose other than a statistical purpose, without the informed consent of the respondent. (c) Rule for Use of Data or Information for Nonstatistical Purposes.--A Statistical Data Center shall clearly distinguish any data or information collected for nonstatistical purposes (as authorized by law) by the Statistical Data Center by a rule that provides that the respondent supplying the data or information is fully informed, before the data or information is collected, that the data or information will be used for nonstatistical purposes. SEC. 6. DISCLOSURE OF DATA OR INFORMATION BY AGENCIES TO STATISTICAL DATA CENTERS. (a) Agencies That May Disclose Data or Information to a Statistical Data Center.--Subject to subsection (b), any Federal agency may disclose data or information to one or more Statistical Data Centers for exclusively statistical purposes. (b) Limitations on Disclosure.--Data or information may be disclosed by an agency to one or more Statistical Data Centers under subsection (a) only if-- (1) the data or information are to be used exclusively for statistical purposes by the Statistical Data Center or Centers; (2) the disclosure of, and proposed use of, the data or information by the Statistical Data Center is not inconsistent with any provisions of law or Executive order that explicitly limit the statistical purposes for which such data or information may be used; (3) the disclosure is not prohibited by law or Executive order in the interest of national security; (4) the disclosure is made under the terms of a written agreement between the Statistical Data Center or Centers and the agency supplying the data or information that specifies-- (A) the data or information to be disclosed; (B) the purposes for which the data or information are to be used; and (C) appropriate security procedures to safeguard the confidentiality of the data or information; and (5) the data or information is not disclosed by that Center in identifiable form (except in a case in which the data or information was collected directly by a party to the agreement referred to in subsection (b)(4), and the agreement specifies that the data or information may be so disclosed to another party to the agreement for exclusively statistical purposes). (c) Notice.--Whenever a written agreement authorized under subsection (b)(4) concerns data that respondents were required by law to report and the agreement contains terms that could not reasonably have been anticipated by respondents who provided the data that will be disclosed, or upon the initiative of any party to such an agreement, or whenever ordered by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the terms of such agreement shall be described in a public notice issued by the agency that intends to disclose the data. Such notice shall allow a minimum of 60 days for public comment before such agreement shall take effect. The Director shall be fully apprised of any issues raised by the public and may suspend the effect of such an agreement to permit modifications responsive to public comments. (d) Applicability of Other Laws.--(1) The disclosure of data or information by an agency to a Statistical Data Center under this section shall in no way alter the responsibility of that agency under other statutes (including the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act) with respect to the disclosure or withholding of such information by that agency. (2) If data or information obtained by an agency is disclosed to another agency pursuant to this section, all provisions of law (including penalties) that relate to the unlawful disclosure of the data or information apply to the officers, employees, or agents of the agency to which the data or information is disclosed to the same extent and in the same manner as the provisions apply to the officers and employees of the agency which originally obtained the information. (3) The officers, employees, and agents of the agency to which the data or information is disclosed, in addition, shall be subject to the same provisions of law, including penalties, relating to the unlawful disclosure of information that would apply to officers and employees of that agency, if the information had been collected directly by that agency. SEC. 7. COORDINATION AND OVERSIGHT BY OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET. (a) In General.--The Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall coordinate and oversee the confidentiality and disclosure policies established by this Act. (b) Report of Disclosure Agreements.--(1) The head of a Statistical Data Center shall report to the Office of Management and Budget-- (A) each disclosure agreement entered into pursuant to section 6(b)(4); (B) the results of any review of information security undertaken at the request of the Office of Management and Budget; and (C) the results of any similar review undertaken on the initiative of the Statistical Data Center or an agency disclosing data or information to a Statistical Data Center. (2) The Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall include a summary of all reports submitted to the Director under this subsection and any actions taken by the Director to advance the purposes of this Act in the annual report to the Congress on statistical programs submitted in accordance with section 3504(e)(2) of title 44, United States Code. (c) Review and Approval of Rules.--The Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall review and approve any rules proposed pursuant to this Act for consistency with this Act and chapter 35 of title 44, United States Code. SEC. 8. IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS. (a) In General.--Subject to subsections (b) and (c), the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, or the head of a Statistical Data Center or of an agency providing information to a Center, may promulgate such rules as may be necessary to implement this Act. (b) Consistency.--The Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall promulgate rules or provide such other guidance as may be needed to ensure consistent interpretation of this Act by the affected agencies. (c) Agency Rules.--Rules governing disclosures of information authorized by this Act shall be promulgated by the agency that originally collected the information, subject to the review and approval required under this Act. SEC. 9. EFFECT ON OTHER LAWS. (a) Title 44 U.S.C.--This Act, including the amendments made by this Act, does not diminish the authority under section 3510 of title 44, United States Code, of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to direct, and of an agency to make, disclosures that are not inconsistent with any applicable law. (b) Exemption From Freedom of Information Act.--Data or information acquired for exclusively statistical purposes as provided in section 5 is exempt from mandatory disclosure under section 552 of title 5, United States Code, pursuant to section 552(b)(3) of such title. (c) Preemption of State Law.--Nothing in this Act shall preempt applicable State law regarding the confidentiality of data collected by the States. SEC. 10. CONFORMING AND PROPOSED CHANGES IN LAW. (a) Department of Commerce.--(1) Section 1 of the Act of January 27, 1938 (15 U.S.C 176a) is amended by striking ``The'' and inserting ``Except as provided in the Statistical Efficiency Act of 1999, the''. (2)(A) Chapter 10 of title 13, United States Code, is amended by adding after section 401 the following: ``Sec. 402. Exchange of census information with Statistical Data Centers ``The Bureau of the Census is authorized to provide data collected under this title to Statistical Data Centers named in the Statistical Efficiency Act of 1999, or their successors designated under the terms
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