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Multi-Method Evaluation of Federal Web Sites in Terms of Access for Individuals to Records Maintained by Executive Agencies

Title: Multi-Method Evaluation of Federal Web Sites in Terms of Access for Individuals to Records Maintained by Executive Agencies.
Name(s): Snead, John T., author
McClure, Charles R., professor directing dissertation
McDowell, Stephen D., outside committee member
Latham, Don, committee member
Hinnant, Charles C., committee member
School of Library and Information Studies, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2009
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This dissertation examined access for individuals through federal web sites to records maintained by Executive agencies that contain personal information as defined by the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. § 552a). Privacy Act statutory provisions, as amended in 1988 provide individuals rights of access to records that contain personal information about or relative to the individual where individuals must first make a request for access and agencies must then address the request, i.e. to either fulfill or deny the request. The primary body of laws, Congressional oversight, judicial interpretations, research, and debate related to access via the Privacy Act emphasize agencies' response to requests for access. Very little work addresses how agencies provide individual's information on how to request access. This study takes an exploratory approach that employs an iterative, multi-method evaluation of selected Executive agencies to understand access for individuals through agency web sites to agency records that contain personal information. The methods in this study include a policy analysis, usability study, Web-content review, and Privacy Act request review. Data analysis results include key findings, key issues, and suggested recommendations that specifically address identified Privacy Act access related issues. Key findings include: 1. The Privacy Act remains virtually unchanged since 1988 yet the information policy environment has changed dramatically from direct contact with agencies to the electronic delivery of government information services and resources through agency web sites referred to as E-Government. 2. There are no mandated Privacy Act statutes that require clearly identified and dedicated web space across departments and agencies for posting all Privacy Act related information resources. 3. Privacy Act statutes do not adequately provide protections of individuals' personal information as intended by Congress. 4. There are no mandated procedures for all departments and agencies to follow in presenting information related to how agencies provide information to individuals on how to submit a request. 5. Very little information is available for individuals that explain the relationship between FOIA requirements and Privacy Act requirements and how this relationship as applied independently by departments and agencies affect the Privacy Act request process. To gain an understanding of the request process for individuals, the research of this study focused on how selected federal agencies provide information related to an individual's request for access to records through federal web sites, the success of agencies provision of the request information, and how the provision affects the interaction between individuals and agencies.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-0372 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the School of Information in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester, 2009.
Date of Defense: April 29, 2009.
Keywords: E-Government, Privacy Act Requests, Information Policy, Privacy Act, FOIA, Access To Agency Records
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Charles R. McClure, Professor Directing Dissertation; Stephen D. McDowell, Outside Committee Member; Don Latham, Committee Member; Charles C. Hinnant, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Library science
Information science
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

Choose the citation style.
Snead, J. T. (2009). Multi-Method Evaluation of Federal Web Sites in Terms of Access for Individuals to Records Maintained by Executive Agencies. Retrieved from