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These terms are commonly used when talking about the Privacy Act of 1974 (Privacy Act).

Federal Register: The official location of documents including rules, proposed rules, and notices published by Federal agencies. Learn more about the Federal Register and access the Federal Register website.

Personally identifiable information (PII): Information that describes a specific individual. Learn more about Examples of PII, including a more detailed definition. 

Privacy Act Statement (PAS): A PAS is a notice individuals should generally receive if a Federal agency asks individuals to provide information containing PII that will become part of a system of records (SOR). A PAS shall include a plain-language description of the following:

  • Authority: What laws, regulations, and guidance allow DHA to request an individual’s PII?
  • Purpose: Why is an individual’s PII being requested and how will it be used within DOD?
  • Routine Use: If the requested PII will be disclosed outside the DOD, where will it be disclosed, and when will it be disclosed to those places?
  • Disclosure: Are individuals required to provide the requested PII and what will happen if an individual does not provide all the requested PII?
  • Relevant SORN(s): What is the appropriate citation, and hyperlink if practicable, to the relevant SORN(s)?

An example of a PAS:

PRIVACY ACT STATEMENT This statement serves to inform you of the purpose for collecting personal information as required by the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, and how that information will be stored and used.
AUTHORITY:  Public Law 104-191, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996; 10 U.S.C., Chapter 55, Medical and Dental Care; 32 CFR 199.17, TRICARE Program; DoD Manual (DoDM) 6025.18, “Implementation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule in DOD Health Care Programs;” and E.O. 9397 (SSN), as amended.

Collecting information from beneficiaries of the Military Health System to determine eligibility for coverage under TRICARE.


In addition to those disclosures generally permitted under 5 U.S.C. § 552a(b) of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, these records may specifically be disclosed outside the DOD as a routine use pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552a(b)(3) as follows: to contractors and others performing or working for the Federal Government when necessary to accomplish an agency function related to this System of Records; and to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) for the purpose of providing medical care, to determine the eligibility for benefits, to coordinate cost sharing activities, and to facilitate collaborative research activities between the DOD and VA. For a complete listing of the Routine Uses for this system, refer to the below hyperlinked SORN.

Any protected health information (PHI) in your records may be used and disclosed generally as permitted by the HIPAA Rules, as implemented within DOD. Permitted uses and disclosures of PHI include, but are not limited to, treatment, payment, and healthcare operations.


EDHA 07, Military Health Information System (June 15, 2020; 85 FR 36190)


Voluntary.  If you choose not to provide the requested information, there may be an administrative delay and it could result in a failure to enroll; however, no penalties will be imposed.

Routine Use: When a record is disclosed outside of the Federal agency that collected the record. Both PASs and SORNs will almost always discuss at least some of a SOR’s routine uses.

System of records (SOR): Generally created when records: 

  • Are controlled by a Federal agency;
  • Include PII; and
  • Are retrieved by a unique identifier such as a full name.

System of records notice (SORN): A notice published in the Federal Register that describes a SOR in detail. The DHA Privacy Office provides a list of all DHA SORNs.

Last Updated: September 01, 2023
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