6 U.S.C. § 142 - U.S. Code - Unannotated Title 6. Domestic Security § 142. Privacy officer




Appointment and responsibilities

The Secretary shall appoint a senior official in the Department, who shall report directly to the Secretary, to assume primary responsibility for privacy policy, including--

 assuring that the use of technologies sustain, and do not erode, privacy protections relating to the use, collection, and disclosure of personal information;

 assuring that personal information contained in Privacy Act systems of records is handled in full compliance with fair information practices as set out in the Privacy Act of 1974 [ 5 U.S.C.A. § 552a ];

 evaluating legislative and regulatory proposals involving collection, use, and disclosure of personal information by the Federal Government;

 conducting a privacy impact assessment of proposed rules of the Department or that of the Department on the privacy of personal information, including the type of personal information collected and the number of people affected;

 coordinating with the Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties to ensure that--

 programs, policies, and procedures involving civil rights, civil liberties, and privacy considerations are addressed in an integrated and comprehensive manner;  and

 Congress receives appropriate reports on such programs, policies, and procedures;  and

 preparing a report to Congress on an annual basis on activities of the Department that affect privacy, including complaints of privacy violations, implementation of the Privacy Act of 1974 [ 5 U.S.C.A. § 552a ], internal controls, and other matters.

Authority to investigate

In general

The senior official appointed under subsection (a) of this section may--

 have access to all records, reports, audits, reviews, documents, papers, recommendations, and other materials available to the Department that relate to programs and operations with respect to the responsibilities of the senior official under this section;

 make such investigations and reports relating to the administration of the programs and operations of the Department as are, in the senior official's judgment, necessary or desirable;

 subject to the approval of the Secretary, require by subpoena the production, by any person other than a Federal agency, of all information, documents, reports, answers, records, accounts, papers, and other data and documentary evidence necessary to performance of the responsibilities of the senior official under this section;  and

 administer to or take from any person an oath, affirmation, or affidavit, whenever necessary to performance of the responsibilities of the senior official under this section.

Enforcement of subpoenas

Any subpoena issued under paragraph (1)(C) shall, in the case of contumacy or refusal to obey, be enforceable by order of any appropriate United States district court.

Effect of oaths

Any oath, affirmation, or affidavit administered or taken under paragraph (1)(D) by or before an employee of the Privacy Office designated for that purpose by the senior official appointed under subsection (a) of this section shall have the same force and effect as if administered or taken by or before an officer having a seal of office.

Supervision and coordination

In general

The senior official appointed under subsection (a) of this section shall--

 report to, and be under the general supervision of, the Secretary;  and

 coordinate activities with the Inspector General of the Department in order to avoid duplication of effort.

Coordination with the Inspector General

In general

Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the senior official appointed under subsection (a) of this section may investigate any matter relating to possible violations or abuse concerning the administration of any program or operation of the Department relevant to the purposes under this section.

Coordination

Referral

Before initiating any investigation described under subparagraph (A), the senior official shall refer the matter and all related complaints, allegations, and information to the Inspector General of the Department.

Determinations and notifications by the Inspector General

In general

Not later than 30 days after the receipt of a matter referred under clause (i), the Inspector General shall--

 make a determination regarding whether the Inspector General intends to initiate an audit or investigation of the matter referred under clause (i);  and

 notify the senior official of that determination.

Investigation not initiated

If the Inspector General notifies the senior official under subclause (I)(bb) that the Inspector General intended to initiate an audit or investigation, but does not initiate that audit or investigation within 90 days after providing that notification, the Inspector General shall further notify the senior official that an audit or investigation was not initiated.  The further notification under this subclause shall be made not later than 3 days after the end of that 90-day period.

Investigation by senior official

The senior official may investigate a matter referred under clause (i) if--

 the Inspector General notifies the senior official under clause (ii)(I)(bb) that the Inspector General does not intend to initiate an audit or investigation relating to that matter;  or

 the Inspector General provides a further notification under clause (ii)(II) relating to that matter.

Privacy training

Any employee of the Office of Inspector General who audits or investigates any matter referred under clause (i) shall be required to receive adequate training on privacy laws, rules, and regulations, to be provided by an entity approved by the Inspector General in consultation with the senior official appointed under subsection (a) of this section.

Notification to Congress on removal

If the Secretary removes the senior official appointed under subsection (a) of this section or transfers that senior official to another position or location within the Department, the Secretary shall--

 promptly submit a written notification of the removal or transfer to Houses of Congress;  and

 include in any such notification the reasons for the removal or transfer.

Reports by senior official to Congress

The senior official appointed under subsection (a) of this section shall--

 submit reports directly to the Congress regarding performance of the responsibilities of the senior official under this section, without any prior comment or amendment by the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, or any other officer or employee of the Department or the Office of Management and Budget;  and

 inform the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives not later than--

 30 days after the Secretary disapproves the senior official's request for a subpoena under subsection (b)(1)(C) of this section or the Secretary substantively modifies the requested subpoena;  or

 45 days after the senior official's request for a subpoena under subsection (b)(1)(C) of this section, if that subpoena has not either been approved or disapproved by the Secretary.





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