Lawmakers seek information from agencies on CASES Act implementation

Rep. Gerry Connolly. (House Oversight Democrats / Flickr)

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Lawmakers have written to five federal agencies requesting a status update on their work to comply with the 2019 CASES Act.

Reps. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., and Jody Hice, R-Ga., of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform are seeking to establish whether government departments have met an implementation deadline of Nov. 12, 2021, set by the Office of Management and Budget to begin accepting electronic identity proofing and authentication processes to release citizens’ personal data to lawmakers.

The lawmakers sent the request for information to the Internal Revenue Service, Social Security Administration, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“Please provide the status of your agency’s implementation of the requirement in the CASES Act and the OMB guidance that agencies accept ‘remote identity- proofing and authentication through digital processes,’ including the final date of implementation,” the lawmakers’ missive says.

The CASES Act was signed into law during the Trump administration with the intention of streamlining how members of Congress work with their constituents. As required by the law, OMB issued guidance requiring agencies to accept electronic identity proofing and authentication processes to release citizens’ personal data by the November 2021 deadline.

Before the CASES Act, privacy law required constituents to fax, scan or mail a sheet of paper to their congressional representatives simply to authorize the lawmaker to work with relevant federal agencies on their behalf. In particular, the Privacy Act of 1974 prohibits disclosure of federal agencies of any record contained in a system without the prior written consent of the individual to whom the record pertains.

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CASES Act, CMMS, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Gerry Connolly, House Oversight and Reform Committee, Internal Revenue Service, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Social Security Administration, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
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