H.R. 1428 would provide certain foreign persons and entities with the means to sue the United States in District Court for unauthorized disclosure of personal information. Currently, under the Privacy Act, United States citizens and lawful permanent residents may bring claims against the federal government if their personal information is disclosed in an unauthorized manner.
The bill would allow foreign persons in designated countries to bring suit against the United States under the terms of the Privacy Act for unlawful disclosure of information obtained in connection with international law enforcement efforts. This new basis for suing the United States would probably increase the number of claims reviewed by the federal courts.
Based on information from the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AOUSC), CBO expects that the increase in claims would not have a substantial effect on the workload of the federal courts. Therefore, CBO estimates that the additional discretionary costs to implement H.R. 1428 would not be significant.
Enacting H.R. 1428 would affect direct spending; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. CBO expects that the increased number of claims would likely result in increased payments out of the Claims and Judgment Fund (a permanent, indefinite appropriation for claims and judgments against the United States). However, because the median payment amount over past years for such claims is less than $30,000, and fewer than 10 claims have been paid annually in recent years, the incremental increase in the cost of successful claims would probably be small. Thus, CBO estimates that the increase in annual direct spending under H.R. 1428 would be insignificant. Enacting the bill would not affect revenues.
H.R. 1428 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.