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Aug 25, 2008

Data Quality Act

The Data Quality Act requires that each agency:
...issue guidelines ensuring and maximizing the quality, objectivity, utility and integrity of information ... (including statistical information) disseminated by the agency ... [and] establish administrative mechanisms allowing affected persons to seek and obtain correction of information maintained and disseminated by the agency that does not comply with the guidelines ..."
The Office of Management and Budget has issued regulations interpreting this Act.

There are many questions about the meaning of the Data Quality Act. It is far from clear that it could be used to make a court challenge to a proposed regulation. No one has even tried to use it to attack an existing regulation, such as Social Security's "grid regulations", which justify denials of disability claims based upon data that everyone concedes is ridiculously out of date and unreliable. However, the Data Quality Act certainly will be useful if, or more likely when, Social Security produces studies upon which it will finally update or replace the grid regulations.



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