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May 2011 Legislation on Health & Human Services


The HHS department is principally charged with the responsibility of guarding the wellbeing of all U.S. citizens. The department also offers indispensable human services. Particularly, this applies to the citizens with low self-help capacity. The department holds approximately one quarter of the entire federal outlay. Moreover, the department administers supplementary grant dollars relative to the rest of federal agencies (Kovner, Knickman & Jonas, 2011). Thus, it is obvious that it requires protection and management under effective policies and legislations. The legislation in context relates to the proposed law enforcement provisions linked to computer security. The proposed legislation applies to all federal state agencies and citizens of the U.S. Notably, there are critical Acts within the proposed legislation. These relate to management, control and execution of operations within key agencies. The need to analyze its implications on the relevant parties is eminent. Therefore, this paper examines the impacts of the proposed May 2011 legislation on policy for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

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Computer Data Security and Confidentiality Policy Issues

The increasing need to upscale data and information security systems within key agencies is eminent (Kennedy-Glans & Schulz, 2005). In its part 1, the proposed legislation provides for the critical legal measures to be ensured in case damage to a computer infrastructure is incurred. The provision is likely to enable the HHS management to develop effective policies relating to the processes of handling data. Additionally, it is likely to enhance the development of monitoring and evaluation initiatives to enhance compliance. These might be both external and internal (GAO, 2006). The provisions in part 2 for the extent of penalties outlined in computer fraud are critical. The agency has to upscale its information security and computer data confidentiality systems. This should be undertaken through comprehensive policy formulation. Communication of the various stipulated guidelines to relevant parties will be crucial. Therefore, development of such policy would necessitate the outlining of all the applicable communication and feedback systems. Policy initiatives and adjustments should focus on confidentiality. Consequently, the HHS should put emphasis on the efficiency of the information technology (IT) department.

Provisions on Notification and Policy Implications

In the notifications, it is obvious that the HHS will be forced to review its four year strategic planning for the 2010-2015 (Kovner, Knickman & Jonas, 2011). Policies and guidelines mandating the relevant authorized officers of the agency to provide information underlined in the provision must be employed. The records management, IT security and privacy guidelines have to be appropriately revised. Within these policy considerations, provisions in the proposed legislation regarding notifications are critical. Personal Identifiable Information (PII) Breach Team guidelines also have to be reviewed. There are several legal provisions to be considered in transforming these charters. These include notification procedures, entitlements and immunity. The HHS also has to consider notification exemptions. The policy adjustments will also consider content and methodology of notifications. The HHS will consider effective collaboration systems with other external agencies in the notification processes. The HHS must also transform the licensing operations and computer data access guidelines. Architecture enterprise guidelines must be reviewed within the IT department.


In general, it is notable that all cadres and roles of personnel must be revised. Considerations of government accreditation and licensing must be taken in notice. The apprenticeship and capacity building processes must also be launched. An effective policy formulation planning and funding will enable the HHS management to undertake the outlined transformation processes. Evidently, the HHS must undergo a transformative phase and change its previous policies regarding the operations outlined under the proposed legislation.


GAO, (2006). Report to the Chairman, Committee on Finance, U.S. Senate. Web.

Kennedy-Glans, D., & Schulz, B. (2005). Corporate integrity: A toolkit for managing beyond compliance. Mississauga, Ont: J. Wiley & Sons Canada.

Kovner, A. R., Knickman, J., & Jonas, S. (2011). Jonas & Kovner’s health care delivery in the United States. New York, NY: Springer.

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