The Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. § 552a (PDF), establishes a code of fair information practices that governs how the Federal Government may collect, maintain, use, and disclose information about individuals. The Act applies to information about individuals maintained in a “system of records.” A system of records is a group of records under the control of an agency from which information is retrieved by the name of the individual or by some other unique identifier, such as a social security number or a certificate of divestiture number.
The Privacy Act requires the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) to:
- Inform individuals from whom it collects information why the information is needed, how it will be used, and the reasons it may be disclosed
- Ensure that information about individuals is used only for the stated reasons, unless it receives the individual’s consent to disclose the information
- Ensure that information about individuals is accurate, relevant, and up-to-date
- Allow individuals to see records about them and provide them with the opportunity to correct inaccuracies
- Establish and maintain appropriate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to protect the security and confidentiality of personal information
In order to effectively meet these responsibilities, OGE issued regulations implementing the Privacy Act. These regulations govern access, maintenance, disclosure, and amendment of records contained in OGE's Privacy Act systems of records and establish rules of conduct for OGE employees and contractors who access the records in the performance of their duties.
Submit a Privacy Act Question or Complaint
Privacy-related questions or complaints can be emailed to OGE at firstname.lastname@example.org and should indicate in the subject line that the message contains a privacy-related comment.
Comments can also be mailed to the following address:
Office of Government Ethics
1201 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20005-3917
The Senior Agency Official for Privacy at OGE is Diana Veilleux. Diana can be reached at:
Main Phone Number: (202) 482-9300
Office of Government Ethics
TTY: (800) 877-8339
U.S. Office of Government Ethics
1201 New York Avenue, N.W., Suite 500
Washington, DC 20005
Privacy Impact Assessments
A Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) is an analysis of how personally identifiable information about the public is collected, used, shared, and maintained in an electronic system. The purpose of a PIA is to demonstrate that an agency has consciously incorporated privacy protections in developing and managing its applicable information technology systems. PIAs are required by the E-Government Act of 2002. OGE’s PIA’s are available in this section.
OGE Internal System of Records Notices
A Privacy Act System of Records Notice (SORN) contains all relevant information about a system of records, including the categories of individuals on whom records are maintained, the categories of records maintained, and each routine use of the records contained in the system. OGE maintains several internal SORN, which are available in this section.
Governmentwide System of Records Notices
When one agency has regulatory authority over records in the custody of multiple agencies, the agency with regulatory authority may publish a governmentwide System of Records Notice (SORN) that applies to all of the records, regardless of their custodial location. OGE’s governmentwide SORN are available in this section.
Requests for Personal Records
Any individual may request access to a government record about himself or herself, or may question whether a government agency is maintaining a record about himself or herself. This section will provide information on how to make a request.
Related Resources and Policies
OGE's Website Privacy and Security Policies
OGE's Social Media Privacy Statement
Breach of Personally Identifiable Information Notification Policy and Response Plan (2019)