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Information Quality Guidelines


This site presents the Department of Defense's Information Quality Guidelines, which were developed in accordance with Section 515, Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act (Public Law 106-554). The law directed the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to issue government-wide guidelines that "provide policy and procedural guidance to Federal Agencies for ensuring and maximizing the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information (including statistical information) disseminated by Federal Agencies." OMB published final guidance in Federal Register, February 22, 2002.

According to the OMB guidelines, a basic standard of quality (objectivity, utility, and integrity) must be maintained and appropriate steps taken to incorporate information quality criteria into agency public information dissemination practices. After reviewing initial draft agency guidelines, OMB also issued supplementary guidance that considered important issues and approaches, and provided guidance on those provisions that applied uniformly to all agencies.

The OMB guidelines were implemented DoD-wide by Deputy Secretary of Defense Memorandum, February 10, 2003, and apply to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Military Departments, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Combatant Commands, Inspector General of the Department, Defense Agencies, DoD Field Activities, and all other organizational entities in DoD (hereafter referred to collectively as “DoD Components”).

Section I prescribes policy, guidelines and procedural guidance for DoD Components. It assigns responsibilities, establishes administrative mechanisms for affected persons to seek and obtain correction of information maintained and disseminated by DoD Components, and delineates public complaint reporting requirements. Section II defines terms and provides context and attributes of each term. Section III posts the Information Quality Act Annual Reports to OMB for 2003, 2004 and 2005.

DoD Components have implemented the guidance in Section I, as integral to their information resource management procedures. These guidelines apply to information disseminated by DoD on or after the date of the cited memorandum, regardless of when the information was first disseminated.


1.1. Prescribes policy and procedures and assigns responsibilities for ensuring and maximizing the quality (objectivity, utility, and integrity) of information (hereafter referred to as "quality standards") disseminated to the public by the Department of Defense.

1.2. Issues guidelines that include administrative mechanisms for affected persons to seek and obtain correction of information maintained and disseminated to the public by Department of Defense Components that does not comply with the quality standards in these guidelines as based on the OMB guidelines (Federal Register, February 22, 2002, Volume 67, Number 36, page 8452).

1.3. Does not provide independent authority to release information to the public.

2. Definitions

Terms used in this attachment are defined in Section II.

3. Procedures

3.1. Underlying Principles

3.1.1. Technology such as the Internet enables DoD to communicate information quickly and easily to a wide audience. However, Internet communication also increases the potential harm that can result from the dissemination of information that does not meet basic information quality standards. At the same time, the variety of DoD information does not lend itself to detailed, prescriptive, "one-size-fits-all" DoD-wide guidelines that require different types of dissemination activities to be treated in the same manner. These guidelines have been developed with the following principles in mind. The guidelines apply, in the spirit and intent of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, to a wide variety of DoD information dissemination activities including practices that have an impact on the acquisition, storage and maintenance of the information to be disseminated. The guidelines are generic in order to apply to a variety of media, printed, electronic, or other forms of publication. Components should not disseminate substantive information that does not meet a basic level of quality. An additional level of quality is warranted in those situations involving influential scientific, financial, or statistical information. This additional level of quality for influential scientific, financial, or statistical analytical results requires that such information be "capable of being substantially reproduced." This is discussed further in paragraph 3.2.3. below.

1. Affected Persons. Persons who may benefit, be harmed, or otherwise affected by the disseminated information. This includes persons who are seeking to address information about themselves as well as persons who use information. "Persons" includes groups, organizations and corporations as defined by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995.

2. Dissemination. Component initiated or sponsored distribution of information to the public. Dissemination does not include distribution limited to: government employees or component contractors or grantees; intra- or inter-Component use or sharing of government information; and responses to requests for Component records under the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, the Federal Advisory Committee Act or other similar law. This definition also does not include distribution limited to: correspondence with individuals or persons, press releases, archival records, public filings, subpoenas or adjudicative processes.

3. Influential. When used in the context of scientific, financial, or statistical information, means that the Component can reasonably determine that dissemination of the information will have or does have clear and substantial impact on important public policies or important private sector decisions. Each Component is authorized to define "influential" in ways appropriate given the nature and multiplicity of issues for which the Component is responsible.

4. Information. Any communication or representation of knowledge such as facts or data, in any medium or form, including textual, numerical, graphic, cartographic, narrative, or audiovisual forms. This definition includes information that a Component disseminates from a web page, but does not include the provision of hyperlinks to information that others disseminate. This definition does not include opinions, where the Component's presentation makes it clear that what is being offered is someone's opinion rather than fact or the Component's views.

4.1. Specific types of information that are not subject to these guidelines

4.1.2. Distribution of information that is limited to government employees, Component contractors or grantees.

4.1.3. Intra or inter-Component or other Department or Agency use of sharing of government information including responses to requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Privacy Act, the Federal Advisory Committee Act, or other similar laws.

4.1.4. Distribution of correspondence with individuals or persons.

4.1.5. Information limited to subpoenas and adjudicative processes.

The purpose of the Information Quality Guidelines are to provide policy and procedural guidance to agency staff, and to inform the public about agency policies and procedures.

Fiscal Year 2005

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) - Flood Risk.

USACE received a request from an Environmental Coalition Group to withdraw statements from a published report predicting flood risk.

Fiscal Year 2004

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) - Flood Protection.

USACE received a request from a private citizen, challenging the data and the conclusions drawn in a report that is part of a federal effort to restore a natural hydrologic regime in the Everglades National Park.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) - Flood FlowProtection.

USACE received a request from a Public Interest Group, challenging the 100-yr. calculation for flood flow protection determined for a Day Creek Basin.

Based on the review conducted, none of the other DoD components has identified any upcoming influential scientific information (including highly influential scientific assessments) within the definitions promulgated by OMB's Final Information Quality Bulletin on Peer Review. When such documents are identified, they will be posted in our agenda.

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