About Privacy Act Issuances

The Office of the Federal Register (OFR) biennially compiles and publishes The Privacy Act Compilation, as directed by the Privacy Act of 1974. The Privacy Act Compilation consists of:

  • Descriptions of systems of records maintained on individuals by Federal agencies and agency recordkeeping policies and practices as published in the Federal Register;

  • Agency rules of procedure for individuals requesting information about their records, as codified in the Code of Federal Regulations; and

  • For the 2007 Issuances and subsequent Compilations, computer matching program notices, as issued under the Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Act of 1988, Public Law 100-503.


According to the Privacy Act of 1974, the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) must biennially compile and publish (1) descriptions of system of records maintained on individuals by Federal agencies which were published in the Federal Register; and (2) rules of each agency which set out the procedures that agencies will follow in helping individuals who request information about their records. In addition, the Privacy Act of 1974 requires OFR to publish the compilation in a form available to the public at a low cost.


The Act provides safeguards against unwarranted invasions of privacy through the misuse of records by Federal agencies by restricting disclosure of personally identifiable records maintained by agencies; granting individuals increased rights of access to records maintained about them; granting individuals the right to seek amendment of records maintained about them upon a showing that the records are not accurate, relevant, timely or complete; and establishing a code of "fair information practices" which requires agencies to comply with statutory norms for collection, maintenance, use and dissemination of records.


The Privacy Act Compilation was first published in 1976.  Prior to 2001, the Compilation was published in five volumes, distributed by the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), and made available to Federal depository libraries nationwide. Files are available in XML format. Historical files prior to 2007 are available in text format only.


Each compilation reflects rules and notices of systems of records published in the Federal Register on or before December 31 of the publication year. For the most recent updates to systems of records notices, refer to the daily Federal Register. For the most recent updates to Privacy Act regulations, refer to the daily  Federal Register or Electronic Code of Federal Regulations.


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