S. 1549 would amend the Privacy Act of 1974 to authorize the disclosure of certain information to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). In general, the Privacy Act prohibits executive branch agencies from disclosing certain records without the prior written consent of the people to whom the records pertain. There are currently twelve exceptions to this prohibition, and S. 1549 would add a thirteenth specifically for disclosures to CBO.
The Congressional Budget Act provides CBO with access to information from the Executive Branch unless disclosure would be a violation of law. In addition, that Act requires CBO to maintain the same level of confidentiality as is required by the agency from which the data is obtained. CBO employees are also subject to the same statutory penalties as employees at the executive branch agency are for unauthorized disclosure or use.
S. 1549 would strengthen CBO’s ability to access data, which would allow CBO to obtain some data more quickly. In total, CBO estimates that implementing S. 1549 would have no significant net effect on federal spending.