White House calls for updated senior agency privacy positions

The Office of Management and Budget released guidance Thursday updating the roles and responsibilities of senior agency officials for privacy.

The Office of Management and Budget released guidance Thursday updating the roles and responsibilities of senior agency officials for privacy.

The new guidance requires each agency to assess its privacy program and either designate or re-designate someone to be the SAOP. Those designated would be “leaders who have agency-wide responsibility and accountability for the agency’s privacy program,” according to a blog post by OMB Senior Adviser for Privacy Marc Groman.

FedScoop reported in February that only a handful of departments had a legislatively mandated privacy officer.

[Read more: Obama establishes Federal Privacy Council]


The guidance was updated “in light of recent innovations in technology and advancements in information analytics so that agencies are better positioned to address the new and complex challenges of the information age,” Groman wrote.

The blog post also notes that the designated officials should be given the authority to lead and carry out agencies’ privacy programs.

It also notes the new guidance “Requires the SAOP to take a central role at the agency in policy development and evaluation, privacy compliance and privacy risk management.”

Groman wrote that improvements in technology have allowed the government to provide better service.

“At the same time, we’re working to ensure that the Government’s privacy practices evolve to appropriately reflect the Government’s use of these ever-changing technologies,” he said, “while also maintaining America’s position as a leader in innovation.”

Samantha Ehlinger

Written by Samantha Ehlinger

Samantha Ehlinger is a technology reporter for FedScoop. Her work has appeared in the Houston Chronicle, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and several McClatchy papers, including Miami Herald and The State. She was a part of a McClatchy investigative team for the “Irradiated” project on nuclear worker conditions, which won a McClatchy President’s Award. She is a graduate of Texas Christian University. Contact Samantha via email at, or follow her on Twitter at @samehlinger. Subscribe to the Daily Scoop for stories like this in your inbox every morning by signing up here:

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