Begich welcomes FEMA privacy reforms

Mark Begich | Office of Sen. Mark Begich
News that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has implemented reforms to increase transparency and protect the privacy of disaster survivors drew praise on Tuesday from Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska).

In a previous report by the Senate Subcommittee on Emergency Management, Begich raised concerns about FEMA’s information-sharing policy, which requires disaster survivors to fill out numerous forms to be eligible for assistance. These forms are mostly used by FEMA, but information is shared with other organizations to ensure that recovery efforts are coordinated. Survivors were not informed about how their information would be shared.

“While it’s important we promote efficiency throughout the government, Alaskans trying to recover from disasters have the right to know who has access to their sensitive information and that it is being properly safeguarded,” Begich said. “I’m glad FEMA took this first step and updated its form to disclose how and when personal data might be shared. I hope they’ll continue to implement my subcommittee’s reforms, which will save taxpayers’ money and improve performance.”

As chair of the Subcommittee on Emergency Management, Begich said he will continue to pressure FEMA to ensure that personal information is securely kept.

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United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs 340 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510

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