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Department of Homeland Security Privacy Office 2014 Annual Report to Congress

“The Department of Homeland Security (DHS or Department) Privacy Office is the first statutorily created privacy office in any federal agency, as set forth in Section 222 of the  Homeland Security Act of 2002, as amended. The mission of the Privacy Office is to protect all individuals by embedding and enforcing privacy protections and transparency in all DHS activities. The Privacy Office accomplishes its mission by focusing on the following core activities:
• Requiring compliance with federal privacy and disclosure laws and policies in all DHS  programs, systems, and operations;
• Centralizing Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act operations to provide policy and programmatic oversight, to support operational implementation within the DHS components, and to ensure the consistent handling of disclosure requests;
• Providing leadership and guidance to promote a culture of privacy and adherence to the Fair Information Practice Principles across the Department;
• Advancing privacy protections throughout the Federal Government through active participation in interagency fora;
• Conducting outreach to the Department’s international partners to promote understanding of the U.S. privacy framework generally and the Department’s role in protecting individual privacy; and,
• Ensuring transparency to the public through published materials, reports, formal notices, public workshops, and meetings.
This report, covering the period from July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2014, catalogues the Privacy Office’s continued success in safeguarding individual privacy while supporting the DHS  mission. The Office’s Fiscal Year 2012-2015 Strategic Plan includes five strategic goals:
• Goal 1 (Privacy and Disclosure Policy): Foster a culture of privacy and transparency, and demonstrate leadership through policy and partnerships;
• Goal 2 (Advocacy): Provide outreach, education, training, and reports in order to  promote privacy and openness in homeland security;
• Goal 3 (Compliance): Ensure that DHS complies with federal privacy and disclosure laws and policies and adheres to the DHS Fair Information Practice Principles;
• Goal 4 (Oversight): Conduct robust oversight on embedded privacy protections and disclosures in all DHS activities; and
• Goal 5 (Workforce Excellence): Develop and maintain the best privacy and disclosure  professionals in the Federal Government.”

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