Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Social Secuirty Numbers:OMB and federal efforts to reduce collection, use, and display
"In its draft report, GAO noted that several governmentwide initiatives aimed at eliminating the unnecessary collection, use, and display of Social Security numbers (SSN) have been underway in response to recommendations that the presidentially appointed Identity Theft Task Force made in 2007 to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, these initiatives have had limited success. In 2008, OPM proposed a new regulation requiring the use of an alternate federal employee identifier but withdrew its proposed regulation because no such identifier was available. OMB required agencies to develop SSN reduction plans and continues to require annual reporting on SSN reduction efforts. SSA developed an online clearinghouse of best practices associated with the reduction of SSN use; however, the clearinghouse is no longer available online.
All 24 agencies covered by the Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act developed SSN reduction plans and reported taking actions to curtail the use and display of the numbers. Nevertheless, in their responses to GAO’s questionnaire and follow-up discussions, the agencies cited impediments to further reductions, including (1) statutes and regulations mandating the collection of SSNs, (2) the use of SSNs in necessary interactions with other federal entities, and (3) technological constraints of agency systems and processes..."