Department of Housing and Urban Development's Privacy Act Systems of Records

LCD-81-10: Published: Oct 31, 1980. Publicly Released: Oct 31, 1980.

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GAO reviewed the way the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) organized and defined its systems of records to compare how HUD and two other selected agencies have organized their systems of records, provide a breakdown of the HUD accounting records system, identify the reasons HUD reported fewer systems than any other cabinet level department, and provide a breakdown of the changes in agencies' systems of records from 1975 through 1979.

HUD, the Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Veterans Administration (VA) each have organized their systems of records by the major purpose for which the systems are used. Each system was classified as an administrative system, a domestic assistance program system, or an agency program system other than those listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. Some of the same systems were maintained at both agency headquarters and field offices, while other systems were maintained only at agency headquarters or at field offices. GAO did not evaluate the reasonableness of the systems' organization and contents. It did note a difference in the organization of the HUD accounting records system compared with similar systems at the other agencies reviewed. HUD had one system consisting of 29 different categories or records while SBA and VA had multiple seperate records systems covering those same categories. Excluding the accounting records system, HUD has organized its records in the same manner as SBA and VA. HUD reported fewer systems of records than any other cabinet level department. This reflects the types of records maintained on specific individuals by SBA and Va, while HUD deals primarily with organizations. HUD reported 29 recordkeeping systems which were not subject to the Privacy Act or had records that were covered by another HUD system. The remaining two systems were transferred to the Civil Service Commission. HUD, like the otheragencies, identified the systems eliminated and created as deemed necessary.

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