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OMB Issues Guidance for Agencies to Accept Digital Requests for Records

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The Office of Management and Budget on Thursday released a memo providing guidance for agencies to start accepting digital requests for disclosure of records protected under the Privacy Act of 1974.

“Modernizing these processes across the Federal Government is important to facilitating transparency and enabling access to Federal programs through seamless and secure digital service delivery,” the memo states.

The document, which was issued in accordance with the Creating Advanced Streamlined Electronic Services for Constituents Act of 2019, directs agencies to offer a digital service option for individuals to request records within a year.

Under the memo, agencies should facilitate remote identity-proofing and authentication process for individuals requesting access to records, publish the templates for access and consent forms on their websites’ privacy program pages and accept the consent and access forms from people who are authenticated and identity-proofed remotely via digital channels.

“Agencies are responsible for modernizing supporting information systems and digitizing any existing processes to ensure that a digital service option is offered in addition to paper-based or in-person options,” the memo reads.