DATE: June 11, 2019
SUBJECT: Collection and Safeguard Requirements for Ethnicity, Race, and Disability Data
- PURPOSE. This policy prescribes Departmental procedures and responsibilities for collection, maintenance, use, and management of data on the ethnicity, race, and disability designations of employees.
- SCOPE. This directive applies to all bureaus, offices, and organizations in the Department of the Treasury, including the Offices of Inspectors General within the Department. The provisions of this Directive shall not be construed to interfere with or impede the authorities or independence of the Treasury Inspector General, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, or the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. This policy applies to all Treasury employees, officials, detailees, interns, and contractor employees
- POLICY. The Department of the Treasury maintains a centralized personnel data system that contains the ethnicity, race, and disability status of its employees. It is Treasury policy that employees authorized to collect, maintain, use, or operate data systems containing ethnicity, race, or disability designations are responsible and accountable for safeguarding such data in accordance with applicable statutory and regulatory provisions.
- The Assistant Secretary for Management is the Department’s Director of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and has full authority to act on all equal opportunity matters, including equal employment opportunity with respect to Treasury personnel.
- The Director, Office of Civil Rights and Diversity (OCRD) has oversight responsibility for policies and procedures necessary to assure that ethnicity, race, and disability designation data is collected and released in accordance with appropriate laws and regulations.
- Human Resources Officers in each bureau are responsible for:
- 1) assuring adherence to Treasury’s ethnicity, race, and disability designation safeguard procedures; and
- 2) establishing methods by which employees may access and verify their own ethnicity, race, and disability designation data.
- The Chief Information Officer is responsible for the full control of automated personnel systems that maintain and report ethnicity, race, and disability data.
- DATA ACCESS.
- The number of employees who in the course of their official duties have access to ethnicity, race, and disability status data shall be kept to a minimum. Each employee who has access to the data must provide physical and technical safeguards that ensure the confidentiality of the ethnicity, race, and disability data and prevent the disclosure of this information to unauthorized personnel.
- Every two to four years, each bureau must notify its employees of the nature of ethnicity, race, and disability designation data maintained and the bureau’s procedures for employee access to, and correction of, their personal data.
- DATA COLLECTION. The designated responsible bureau official must inform incoming employees of the Department’s obligation to obtain ethnicity, race, and disability data on all employees. The designated responsible bureau official will inform the employee(s) of the purpose of the collection of this data, the need for accuracy, the recognition of the sensitivity of such data, and the existence of procedures to prevent its unauthorized disclosure.
- To capture ethnicity and race data, new employees are requested to voluntarily complete the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Standard Form (SF) 181 “Ethnicity and Race Identification” (Revised August 2005). If an employee refuses to voluntarily complete the SF 181, the designated responsible bureau official must determine the race and ethnicity information by visual observation and inform the employee of the data it will be reporting.
- To capture disability data:
- 1) new employees are requested to complete Standard Form (SF) 256 “Self-Identification of Disability” (Revised October 2016 ). All disability designations will be kept confidential. In accordance with 29 C.F.R. § 1614.203(d)(6)(ii)(B), if the employee is a Schedule A appointee and refuses to self-identify, the designated responsible bureau official should identify the employee’s disability using the records supporting the appointment.
- 2) for all other employees, if the employee refuses to self-identify, the bureau should report the employee’s disability status as “no disability” and enter the code 05 “I do not have a disability.” Additionally, records used for purposes of accommodation requests can be used by the designated responsible bureau official to unilaterally identify an employee. Visual identification may not be used for the collection of disability data.
- The designated responsible bureau official should enter the employee’s ethnicity, race, and disability codes into the Department’s automated personnel data system.
- Completion of the SF 181 and SF 256 is voluntary on the part of an employee. There shall be no adverse effect on an individual’s employment if he/she chooses not to provide this information.
- A current employee can view and change his or her ethnicity, race, and disability designations entered into the automated personnel data system at any time by accessing the Department’s automated human resources system.
- DATA CONTROLS.
- During the identification, collection, and entering of ethnicity, race, or disability data, source documents will not be left unattended or unsecured. When completed SF 181 and SF 256 forms are not in the custody of authorized personnel, they will be placed in a properly labeled, sealed envelope and maintained in a locked file cabinet or in a secured area.
- Once data are entered into the Department’s automated personnel data system, the SF 181 and SF 256 must be destroyed. No data obtained through this policy may be filed or retained in an employee’s official personnel folder.
- DATA RELEASE. Ethnicity, race, and disability data on individual employees will not be released except for use in an administrative EEO complaint procedure or as required by law. The decision to release information that identifies individual employees will be made on a case-by-case basis by the OCRD Director, or the designated EEO Official in the affected bureau, consistent with applicable disclosure law and applicable Privacy Act system of records notices. Data on ethnicity, race, and disability status shall be used to:
- Evaluate compliance with the Department’s affirmative employment program;
- Conduct barrier analysis and internal EEO studies, and prepare statutory and regulatory annual reports to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and OPM; and
- Aid in the investigation and adjudication of EEO complaints and grievance process, if a collective bargaining agreement exits.
- COMPLIANCE REVIEW. The Department’s automated personnel data system’s files will be reviewed as part of periodic internal audit surveys. These reviews will determine:
- Whether employees engaged in the collection, maintenance, or use of ethnicity, race, or disability designation data are familiar with the contents of this instruction; and Whether the proper physical, technical, and administrative safeguards are maintained to protect such data.
- Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, 5 USC 552a(b).
- 5 CFR Part 297, Privacy Procedures for Personnel Records. “The Guide to Personnel Data Standards,” Office of Personnel Management (Update 49, January 5, 2006).29 CFR 1614.601, 29 C.F.R. § 1614.203(d)(6)(ii) and (iii), EEO Group Statistics.
- 5 CFR 213.3102(u), Schedule A Exempted Hiring Authority for People with Severe Physical Disabilities, Psychiatric Disabilities, and Intellectual Disabilities.
- CANCELLATION. Treasury Directive 67-01, “Collection and Safeguard Requirements for Ethnicity, Race, and Disability Data,” dated May 6, 2014, is superseded.
- OFFICE OF PRIMARY INTEREST. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Management, Office of Civil Rights and Diversity.
David F. Eisner
Assistant Secretary for Management