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FW: [iajgs] (USA) Genealogists Not Invited To Testify on SSDI at House Ways and Means Subcommittee Hearing

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  • Max Heffler
    IAJGS as one of the 3 voting members of the Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC) http://www.fgs.org/rpac/index.phphas has been coordinating with
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 27, 2012
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      IAJGS as one of the 3 voting members of the Records Preservation and Access
      Committee (RPAC) http://www.fgs.org/rpac/index.phphas has been
      coordinating with the other managing members, FGS and NGS and the RPAC
      chairman, David Rencher, chief genealogist of FamilySearch(see website for a
      listing of all the genealogical organizations that are participating on
      RPAC) in addressing the genealogical community's deep concerns over the
      recent actions to limit or prevent access to the Social Security Death Index
      (SSDI)[the commercial version of the Death Master File, produced by the
      Social Security Administration]. Four bills have been introduced in
      Congress(HR 3475, S1534, HR 3482, HR 3215) that if enacted would limit
      access or totally deny access to the SSDI due to concerns that access to the
      SSDI has lead to identity theft by identity thieves, obtaining Social
      Security Numbers of deceased children and applying for tax refunds for these
      non related children.

      For the past several months, IAJGS and others from RPAC, have been in
      discussions with the House Ways and Means Committee Social Security
      Subcommittee staff on the genealogical community's needs for access to SSDI
      including the Social Security Numbers [SSN], including providing them with
      suggested legislative language addressing the concerns of using deceased
      children's SSN's while still permitting legitimate users --including
      genealogists--access to the SSDI. Several very prominent genealogists were
      lined up to testify on the hope that the genealogical community would be an
      invited testifier--even with only one representative. We were advised the
      upcoming hearing would not be specific to any of the current bills in
      Congress but rather to address the issues and what legislation should
      include.

      IAJGS was the coordinator and the lead spokesperson with the Subcommittee
      staff. As such IAJGS was advised by the Ways and Means Committee Social
      Security Subcommittee staff on January 26 that due to their very limited
      time and the issues growing more complex, they decided not to go with a
      genealogist witness. They commented that we may submit testimony for the
      record. The decision as to who may be a presenter at a hearing is made by
      the Subcommittee chairperson, in coordination with the ranking subcommittee
      member and with subcommittee staff. The decision is not appealable.
      The hearing information was posted later today to the House Ways and Means
      Committee website--February 2 at 9:00 AM. http://tinyurl.com/7mp5op8
      original url:
      http://waysandmeans.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=276835

      Please read the hearing advisory at: http://tinyurl.com/7xojjc3 original
      url:
      http://waysandmeans.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=276834

      For information on submitting a statement see:
      http://tinyurl.com/6lu7dw7
      original url:
      http://waysandmeans.house.gov/committeesubmissions/

      Statements may be submitted through February 16- two weeks following the
      hearing. How and where are located in the link immediately above.

      Needless to say IAJGS and RPAC are very disappointed that the genealogical
      community was not invited to be a presenter at the February 2 hearing.
      IAJGS is planning to submit a statement. As more information is made
      available it will be posted to this forum.

      Jan Meisels Allen
      janmallen@...
      IAJGS Vice President
      Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee
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