System of Records Notices

A system of records is a group of any records under the control of any agency from which information is retrieved by the name of the individual or by some identifying number, symbol, or other identifier assigned to the individual. The Privacy Act requires each agency to publish notice of its systems of records in the Federal Register. This notice is generally referred to as a System of Records Notice or SORN.

A SORN is intended to inform the public about what kinds of personal information federal agencies maintain; to limit the uses and disclosures of the information to those compatible with the law permitting its collection; and to describe how an individual might request access to their information or to seek redress otherwise.

 

Title: BOU SORN icon

Bureau and Operating Unit (Component) Notices

Component systems of records are records for which a Department component, such as the Census Bureau, writes the SORN for the records for which they have physical custody and maintain. The following characteristics also apply:

      • The physical records contained within the system of records belong to the respective component.
      • The corresponding SORNs begin with the the component's identifier, such as CENSUS-1, 2, etc., for the Census Bureau.
Listing of Component Notices by Component
 

Return to top

 

 

Title: Department-wide SRON icon

Department-wide Notices

Department-wide systems of records are records for which the Department writes the SORN for the records, but may not have physical custody as a matter of necessity. The Department's components may use Department wide SORNs to cover records systems they maintain. The following characteristics also apply:

      • The physical records contained within the system of records belong to the respective component.
      • The Department may still retains some authority over the records.
      • The corresponding SORNs begin with the identifier DEPT-1, 2, etc.
Listing of Department-wide Notices

 

Return to top

 

 

Title: Government-wide SORN icon

Government-wide Notices

Government-wide systems of records are records for which another Federal agency, such as the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), writes the SORN for the records, but does not have physical custody as a matter of necessity. For example, general personnel records. Federal agencies may use Government wide SORNs to cover Government wide records systems. The following characteristics also apply:

      • The physical records contained within the system of records belong to the respective agency.
      • OPM still retains some authority over the records.
      • The corresponding SORNs begin with the identifier GOVT-1, 2, etc.
Listing of Government-wide Notices
         Government Services Administration (GSA)
      • Coming soon
         Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
      • Coming soon
 

Return to top

 

 

Quick Facts icon

Department of Commerce Privacy Act Fact Sheets

General fact sheets about the Privacy Act and SORNs, as well as about specific notices, such as COMMERCE/DEPT-25, "Access Control and Identity Management System."

 

Return to top

   
   

Questions and Comments

Send Questions or Comments on the Commerce Office of Privacy and Open Government programs to PrivacyAct@doc.gov.

Office of Privacy and Open Government
Office of the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce

 

Page last updated: April 5, 2017->