The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is conducting a review of transfers
and sales of public records that may contain social security numbers. GAO is the
audit, evaluation, and investigative arm of Congress. As a part of this study, we are asking public record keepers at the county level
to complete this web survey.
Specifically, GAO is interested in two types of document transfers: (1) bulk
transfers and sales, and (2) subscription services or web sites. Bulk transfers
or sales involve companies obtaining all or significant subsets of the public
records maintained by your office. For example, a business may obtain all property
records recorded in your office on a monthly basis. Fee-based subscription
services or web sites allow users to remotely search for, view, and print individual
records. For both types of transfers, GAO is interested in how these records are
made available, the types of businesses that obtain these records from your office, and
the extent of any restrictions placed on how recipients of these records can use
the information they contain.
GAO plans to summarize the information counties provide in a report. Although
most responses will be aggregated, individual county responses may be used
as illustrative examples. This survey
is an important component of our study, and we expect that your responses
will provide the Congress with valuable information
on the issue of sales and transfers of public records.