Contractor Integrity: Stronger Safeguards Needed for Contractor Access to Sensitive Information
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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Unauthorized disclosure of sensitive information by government or contractor employees through negligence or misconduct can have a significant effect on the governments ability to perform its primary functions, potentially resulting in financial loss, damaged reputation, and loss of public trust. Sensitive information may not always be explicitly designated or marked as such. For the purposes of this report, we use the term sensitive information to generally refer to information under an agencys authority or control that has a degree of confidentiality such that its loss, misuse, unauthorized access, or modification could compromise that confidentiality and harm important interests, such as personal and medical privacy to which individuals are entitled under laws,10 national security, law enforcement, proprietary commercial rights, or the conduct of agency programs. The large but unquantifiable amount of sensitive information generated by the government makes understanding its scope more difficult and agencies safeguarding this information from unauthorized disclosure or inappropriate use by contractors a complex challenge. Table 1 shows examples of several types of sensitive information. Additional examples are listed in appendix II. All examples were drawn from a myriad of designations that agencies use to describe sensitive information.
- Administration and Management
- Information Science