• Federal Contractors Must Conduct Employee Privacy Training under Proposed Regulation
  • October 31, 2011 | Author: Eric John Felsberg
  • Law Firm: Jackson Lewis LLP - Melville Office
  • The Department of Defense (DoD), the General Services Administration (GSA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have proposed that the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) be amended to require federal contractors to provide privacy training to certain employees or be barred from certain government work.  Under the October 14 proposal, an employee who will access government records or records systems or handle personally identifiable information must be given training that addresses the protection of privacy, in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, and the handling and safeguarding of personally identifiable information in order for access to such records to be granted or retained.  The public has until December 13, 2011, to submit comments to the proposal.

    Under the proposed amendment, contractors’ employees who must access a government system of records, handle personally identifiable information, or design, develop, maintain or operate a system of records on behalf of the federal government will be granted or allowed to retain such access only if the individual employee completes privacy training and meets all other applicable agency requirements.
    Federal contractors must train employees at the outset of the contract and at least annually thereafter on seven elements of privacy training, including breach notification procedures and any agency-specific requirements. The contractor must maintain records documenting the training.

    While the proposal suggests that relevant FAR-regulated agencies require contractors to utilize agency-developed privacy training, it also contemplates allowing agencies to provide a list of training requirements and requiring federal contractors develop the training to be administered.

    If adopted, the privacy training requirement will add yet another item to a long list of employment-related contractor obligations.  Thus, it is critical to understand the implications and details of the proposed regulation.