reporting) and for OMB to aggregate the amount of burden that federal agencies impose on the public annually through the Information Collection Budget. This landmark legislation also had practical implications for agencies, as it forced them to manage information collection as a resource much like they did financial and human resources.


In many ways, the Information Technology Reform Act (Public Law 104-106; also known as the Clinger-Cohen Act)2 provided some of the early underpinnings for the e-government movement by requiring agencies to elevate the position of “Senior Official for Information Resources Management” to that of “Chief Information Officer” (CIO). This law recognized the strategic importance of technology in meeting agency objectives, giving the CIO in a federal agency a prominent position that is supposed to report directly to the head of the agency. Consistent with this view, the act created the expectation that agency investments in IT would be evaluated on the basis of the attainment of goals and objectives laid out in agency strategic and tactical plans.


Although it is likely the oldest piece of federal information policy that shapes e-government implementation, the Privacy Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-579, as amended)3 remains quite influential. The Privacy Act is built on the fair information principles outlined by the then-Department of Health, Education and Welfare’s policy4 to provide citizens with insight into their government’s stewardship of what the act defines as “sensitive information.”5 Sensitive information includes “information, the loss, misuse, or unauthorized access to or modification of, which could adversely affect the national interest or the conduct of federal programs, or the privacy to which individuals are entitled under … the Privacy Act.”6 To


See, accessed June 20, 2007. See also S.H. Holden and P. Hernon, “An Executive Branch Perspective on Managing Information Resources,” pp. 83-104 in P. Hernon, C.R. McClure, and H.C. Relyea, Eds., Federal Information Policies in the 1990’s: Views and Perspectives, Norwood, N.J.: Ablex Publishing, 1996.


See, accessed June 20, 2007.


See Department of Health, Education, and Welfare Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Automated Personal Data Systems, Records, Computers and the Rights of Citizens, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1973.


P.M. Regan, Legislating Privacy: Technology, Social Values, and Public Policy, Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1995.


See, accessed June 20, 2007.

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