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H.R. 1079 (116th): Creating Advanced Streamlined Electronic Services for Constituents Act of 2019


The text of the bill below is as of Aug 3, 2019 (Passed Congress).

Summary of this bill

Currently, you have to mail or fax a physical letter for some actions undertaken by congressional offices. The CASES for Constituents Act would finally allow digital alternatives in addition.

Context

For 44 years and counting, the Privacy Act of 1974 has mandated that members of Congress get written authorization from a constituent before undertaking case work with the federal government on the constituent’s behalf. That can even include for emergency situations such as with FEMA, the VA, Social Security, or Medicare.

A Louisiana congressman gave a recent example.

“After our 2016 flood in South Louisiana, our office was available to field the thousands of calls from flood victims in ...


I

One Hundred Sixteenth Congress of the United States of America

At the First Session

H. R. 1079

AN ACT

To require the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to issue guidance on electronic consent forms, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Creating Advanced Streamlined Electronic Services for Constituents Act of 2019 or the CASES Act.

2.

Sense of Congress

It is the sense of Congress that—

(1)

congressional offices provide crucial services to constituents by acting as a liaison between the constituents and the respective agencies;

(2)

this includes assisting constituents by making inquiries and working toward resolutions on behalf of the constituent with the respective agencies; and

(3)

this process should be simplified through the creation of electronic forms that may be submitted under section 552a of title 5, United States Code (commonly referred to as the Privacy Act), thus modernizing the process for constituents and improving access and efficiency of Government services and agencies in order to expedite the resolution of the problem for which constituents sought help.

3.

OMB guidance on electronic consent and access forms

(a)

Guidance

Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Director shall issue guidance that does the following:

(1)

Requires each agency to accept electronic identity proofing and authentication processes for the purposes of allowing an individual to provide prior written consent for the disclosure of the individual’s records under section 552a(b) of title 5, United States Code, or for individual access to records under section 552a(d) of such title.

(2)

Creates a template for electronic consent and access forms and requires each agency to post the template on the agency website and to accept the forms from any individual properly identity proofed and authenticated in accordance with paragraph (1) for the purpose of authorizing disclosure of the individual’s records under section 552a(b) of title 5, United States Code, or for individual access to records under section 552a(d) of such title.

(3)

Requires each agency to accept the electronic consent and access forms described in paragraph (2) from any individual properly identity proofed and authenticated in accordance with paragraph (1) for the purpose of authorizing disclosure of the individual’s records to another entity, including a congressional office, in accordance with section 552a(b) of title 5, United States Code, or for individual access to records under section 552a(d).

(b)

Agency compliance

Each agency shall comply with the guidance issued pursuant to subsection (a) not later than 1 year after the date on which such guidance is issued.

(c)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Agency; individual; record

The terms agency, individual, and record have the meanings given those terms in section 552a(a) of title 5, United States Code.

(2)

Director

The term Director means the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

4.

No additional funds authorized

No additional funds are authorized to carry out the requirements of this Act. Such requirements shall be carried out using amounts otherwise authorized.

5.

Determination of budgetary effects

The budgetary effects of this Act, for the purpose of complying with the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, shall be determined by reference to the latest statement titled Budgetary Effects of PAYGO Legislation for this Act, submitted for printing in the Congressional Record by the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, provided that such statement has been submitted prior to the vote on passage.

Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Vice President of the United States and President of the Senate.