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CHIPS Articles: BUPERS Reduces SSN Use

BUPERS Reduces SSN Use
By Barbara Figueroa - January-March 2011
The Department of the Navy (DON) is currently involved in a top-down approach to eliminate the unnecessary collection of Social Security numbers (SSNs).

Official DON forms, sponsored by all echelons, have been identified as a leading source of SSN collection and were a good starting point to review and either justify continued SSN use or eliminate its unnecessary use. The goal of this effort is to greatly reduce the collection, display, storage and/or transmission of SSNs where possible.

A formal review process was created in response to Directive-Type Memorandum (DTM) 07-015-USD(P&R) of March 28, 2008, “DoD Social Security Number Reduction Plan” and DON CIO MSG DTG: 192101Z of July 2010, "DON Social Security Number Reduction Plan for Forms Phase One."

In collaboration with the Privacy Act Program Manager (DNS-36), the DON Forms Manager (DNS-51) and all Navy echelon forms managers, significant progress continues to be made to reduce the use of the SSN across the Navy and Secretariat. The Marine Corps has implemented a similar review process to make this a DON-wide initiative.

Like many of the commands that conducted the DON SSN Reduction Plan for Forms Phase One, the Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS-01F) dramatically decreased the requirement to collect the SSN on many Navy Personnel Command/Bureau of Naval Personnel forms. Because so many of their processes involve the collection of privacy sensitive data, BUPERS is a great example of how an aggressive review process can work across the DON.

During the recent review and justification process, 146 forms were identified that collect the SSN. From that group, the SSN field was eliminated on 48 forms, 40 forms were canceled, and 58 received justifications for continued SSN use. The results of the BUPERS-01F review have been consistent with other Navy and Marine Corps components.

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