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Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Publishes the 2015 Executive Order 13636 Privacy and Civil Liberties (P/CL) Assessment Report

Blog by
Joey Hutcherson, TPM, PMP, CIPP/G
Deputy Director, Office of Privacy and Open Government

The national and economic security of the United States (U.S.) depends on the reliable functioning of critical infrastructure.  To strengthen the resilience of this infrastructure, President Obama issued Executive Order 13636 (E.O.) – Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity, dated February 12, 2013.

The E.O. directs federal departments and agencies to establish, expand, or prioritize a number of activities to improve cybersecurity for the U.S. critical infrastructure, including the development of a framework (the “Cybersecurity Framework”) to reduce cybersecurity risks to critical infrastructure and to assist organizations responsible for critical infrastructure services with managing cybersecurity risk.

Section 5 of the E.O. requires department and agency Senior Agency Officials for Privacy and Civil Liberties (SAOP/CL) to incorporate privacy and civil liberties protection into all activities performed under the E.O., and to conduct assessments of those activities based on Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPPs) and other applicable policies, principles and frameworks.

For the reporting period August 1, 2013 to September 30, 2014, the Department of Commerce’s (DOC) Chief Privacy Officer (CPO)/ Senior Agency Official for Privacy (SAOP) completed a privacy assessment examining the “Cybersecurity Framework” development activities performed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).  

The DOC CPO/SAOP submitted the DOC Assessment of Commerce activities under the E.O. to DHS to incorporate into the DHS E.O. 13636 P/CL Assessment Report.

On April 9, 2015, DHS published the DHS E.O. 13636 P/CL Assessment Report.  The DOC assessment is Part V (page 122) of the 2015 report.  The report can be found at

The 2014 DHS E.O. 13636 P/CL Assessment Report can be found at  The DOC assessment is Part V (page 92) of the 2014 report.

Department of Justice (DOJ) Presents Department of Commerce (DOC) Employees FOIA Awards

Blog by 
Joey Hutcherson, TPM, PMP, CIPP/G
Deputy Director, Office of Privacy and Open Government

Department of Justice (DOJ) kicked off Sunshine Week with a celebration of FOIA Professionals on March 16, 2015. DOJ presented three awards to Department of Commerce (DOC) employees. One DOC FOIA Professional was recognized with a Lifetime Service Award and two DOC FOIA Professionals were recognized with an Outstanding Customer Service Award.  The Lifetime Service Award was presented to Ms. Brenda Dolan.  The Outstanding Customer Service Awards were presented to Ms. Roberta “Bobbie” Parsons and Ms. Harriette Boyd.

Ms. Dolan was recognized for 22 years of distinguished civil service as a FOIA professional in the DOC.  As the Departmental FOIA Officer, Ms. Dolan’s contributions to ensuring efficient FOIA administration are exceptional and remarkable. She ushered the Department’s FOIA processing capabilities into the 21st century by transitioning it from manual paper-based FOIA processing to a FOIAonline. It provides an end-to-end workflow, electronic records, and automated reports. She leads Departmental response to numerous voluminous FOIAs, including some which produced over 30,000 responsive documents. Ms. Dolan has exceptional professional competence and is cornerstone in the Department’s administration of FOIA.

Ms. Roberta Parsons who is responsible for processing DOC Office of Secretary (OS) FOIA requests which are for the immediate OS.  Ms. Parsons’ was recognized for outstanding customer service and her attention to detail which has enhanced the OS response to the requester community through clear explanation of the OS FOIA process and by improving the quality of the responsive documents.  Ms. Parsons’ ability to assist requesters with modification of requests enables DOC personnel to locate responsive documents with a reasonable amount of effort, which often reduces associated fees.  Ms. Parsons has enhanced the OS capabilities in responding to FOIA request significantly improving the requester experience.

Ms. Harriette Boyd provides outstanding customer services in the processing of requests received from the public.  Her effective assigning/tasking and initiation of requests across the Department has reduced the timeframe required to respond effectively to each requestor.  Her tenacity in managing, coordinating, and collaborating internally and externally enables the DOC personnel to locate the documents required to respond appropriately to requests.  Her outstanding ability to narrow the scope of the request has often resulted in the reduction the fees to the requester. Ms. Boyd is the critical element in reducing the response time, and improving overall effectiveness in FOIA processing. 

Department of Justice, Acting Associate Attorney General, Stuart F. Delrey and DOJ Director Office of Information Policy, Melanie Ann Pustay, presented the awards to DOC employees.  On stage representing the Commerce senior management with the awardees were Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration, Mr. Fred Stephens, Commerce Chief Privacy Officer and Director of Open Government, Catrina Purvis and Deputy Director Office of Privacy and Open Government, Mr. Joey Hutcherson.

Open Government Directive Benchmarks

The White House's Open Government Directive requires Cabinet-level agencies, such as the Department of Commerce, to pass certain milestones as part of our efforts to be more open and transparent. The timeline below details the specific benchmarks we're moving toward, and shows the Department's progress in achieving them.

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45 days—January 22, 2010

  • Completed: Designate a high-level senior official to be accountable for Federal spending information publicly disseminated (Date Completed: 1/22/2010)
  • Completed: Identify and publish online, in an open format, at least three high-value data sets (Date Completed: 1/22/2010)

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60 days—February 6, 2010

  • Completed: Launch the Commerce Open Government Website at, to provide ways for the public to find information and provide feedback on the data sets, our FOIA process, and the Commerce Open Government Plan (Date Completed: 2/5/2010)
  • Completed: Provide contact information for Commerce's designated Open Government representative and create Commerce Open Government email account, (Date Completed: 2/5/2010)
  • Completed: Launch the Citizen Engagement Tool,, to solicit feedback and ideas (Date Completed: 2/5/2010)

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120 days—April 7, 2010

  • Completed: Select Commerce Open Government Team and begin meeting (Date Completed: 1/08/2010)
  • Completed: Release First Draft template for the Commerce Open Government Plan (Date Completed: 3/12/2010)
  • Completed: Solicit public feedback for the Commerce Open Government Plan (Date Completed: 3/20/2010)
  • Completed: Integrate public feedback for the Commerce Open Government Plan (Date Completed: 4/2/2010)
  • Completed: Publish Commerce Open Government Plan on Commerce Open Government website (Date Completed: 4/7/2010)