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Privacy Service

 

Who We Are

Privacy Badge Image The VA Privacy Service is responsible for overseeing, directing and establishing the long and short-term goals for VA's Enterprise Privacy Program. As the impact of privacy issues increase, the Privacy Service identifies privacy needs and implements strategies to meet those needs. We advise senior officials concerning data management and the feasibility of the Department's privacy priorities and implementation plans. We work to ensure compliance with Federal and VA-specific privacy requirements. Also, we ensure the attainment of Department-wide privacy objectives in the overall VA planning, programming, and budgeting process.

The VA Privacy Service developed its mission statement in 2002, and this continues to be our mission: "Preserve and Protect the Privacy of Veterans and VA Employees' Personal Information"

Department of Veterans Affairs Report on Agency Matching Activities for Calendar Years 2010-2011. The most recent report can be accessed at the link below.

The following files are in PDF format.Download Adobe Reader

Biennial Computer Matching Activities Report – Calendar Years 2010 and 2011 

What We Do

VA has over 300,000 employees and maintains extensive records on over 26,000,000 veterans. Ensuring compliance with sound privacy practices is critical as the volume of personal information that VA handles continues to grow. The VA Privacy Service:


  • Develops and regularly updates general privacy training for all VA staff and contractors and specialized role-based privacy training for senior executives, and privacy officers;

  • Develops and provides outreach to instill a culture of privacy and respect for fair information principles across VA;
  • Reviews all VA Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs);
  • Works to bring privacy issues to the table within the Department's information-management offices;
  • Directs the full range of Department-wide privacy programs;
  • Ensures VA policies comply with federal regulatory requirements and legislative mandates governing those programs;
  • Develops tracking tools to assess privacy violations;
  • Promulgates Department-level privacy policy, procedures, and guidelines that implement federal laws and regulations;
  • Ensures privacy is integrated in new VA systems, processes, and products as well as throughout the investment lifecycle.
  • Oversees VA's compliance with the Privacy Act.

Since its creation in 2002, the VA Privacy Service has successfully achieved the following:


  • Implemented the HIPAA Privacy Rule (April 2003) and HIPAA Security Rule (April 2005);
  • Solidified its position and cemented the importance of privacy within VA and the Office of Information and Technology;
  • Implemented privacy complaint and violation tracking and remediation efforts;
  • Ensured that all VA employees, contractors, and volunteers complete privacy training annually;
  • Implemented the Privacy Impact Assessment provisions of the E-Government Act of 2002; and
  • Ensured compliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) privacy reporting requirements.

Future Privacy Initiatives

The VA Privacy Service is now focusing its attention on reducing the use of Social Security numbers in VA systems and programs, where feasible, to professionalize VA privacy officers, and to develop an integrated, comprehensive, and enterprise-wide management of privacy-relevant data, processes, and business operations.

General Contacts

For more information about VA's privacy programs, contact the VA Privacy Service at 202.273.5070 or privacyservice@va.gov.

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