TheCRE.com
CRE Homepage About The CRE Advisory Board Newsletter Search Links Representation Comments/Ideas
Data Access
Data Quality
Regulation by Litigation
Regulation by Appropriation
Special Projects
CRE Watch List
OMB Papers
Abstracts and Reviews
Regulatory Review
Voluntary Standards Program
CRE Report Card
Public Docket Preparation
Consumer Response Service
Site Search

Enter keyword(s) to search TheCre.com:
DataQualityAct.US

The Washington Post and New York Times on Data Quality
Definitive Data Quality Articles

2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003-1997

2003 - 1997

The "Bad Science" Fiction: Reclaiming the Debate Over the Role of Science in Public Health and Environmental Regulation

Federal New Law Could Cloud Access to EPA Information

Furor Over the Data Quality Act

Federal Data Quality Act: A Tool for Landowners

On the Media Transcript on Data Quality Act

To Spite the Face

EPA warning on asbestos is under attack

Information Quality and the Law, or, How to Catch a Difficult Horse

Conservative Lysenkoism

Read CRE's Legislative Working Papers on Data Access and Data Quality

Comments on the U.S. Department of Labor Draft Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility and Integrity of Information Disseminated by the Department of Labor

Judge Dismisses Attack on Right-to-Know

CRE Comments On OMB Data Quality Peer Review Proposal Emphasize That Guidance Is Necessary
In the Data Quality legislation Congress directed OMB to provide guidance to federal agencies that would "ensure and maximize" the information they disseminate. In the case of scientific and technical information, guidance on satisfactory peer review is essential for fulfilling this legal responsibility. CRE identified peer review as an essential element of Data Quality in its legislative working papers which it gave to Congress in 1997 and which it has made public on this website for several years.
  • Click for CRE comments on OMB proposal.
  • Click for CRE legislative working papers.
  • Comments On OMB Peer Review Guidelines Available On CRE Website
    The Office of Management and Budget solicited public comment on its proposed guidelines establishing peer review standards for federal agencies. The comment period for non-government entities ended December 15, 2003. These comments are now available on the CRE website. Federal agencies have another month to submit comments.

  • Click here for OMB's proposed peer review guidelines.
  • Click here for non-government comments on OMB's proposed peer review guidelines.
  • OMB Watch Comments on CRE Proposal for Model State Legislation on Data Quality and Data Access
  • Click for OMB Watch article and analysis.
  • Major Law Firm Concurs With CRE On Applicability of Data Quality Act to Universities
    The distinguished law firm McKenna, Long and Aldridge, acting at the request of the American Council on Education, has supported CRE's view on the applicability of the Data Quality Act to universities. Specifically, the firm concurred with CRE's view that, "it would be in the self interest of universities to make sure that information they submit to federal agencies meets DQA standards, thus enhancing the likelihood that federal agencies will publish the information..." McKenna, Long and Aldridge also concurred with CRE's view that the Data Quality Act in no way restricts the ability of universities to produce and disseminate information. As a member of CRE's Board of Advisor's noted, "universities can write whatever they want... If universities want their research to be used by the government, they will have to comply with the Data Quality Act, but that doesn't mean that there is a legal obligation to do so."


  • Click to read article in Research USA (September 29, 2003).
  • Click to comment.
  • CRE's Data Quality Act Petition Causes International Debate
    On September 8, 2003, CRE filed a petition with HHS claiming that WHO studies must meet Data Quality Act standards before they can be used to develop HHS' 2005 Dietary Guidelines. CRE's Petition is based in part on the Data Quality Act's pre-dissemination review requirements. An article published by Inside Washington Publishers discusses the international reaction to CRE's Petition. According to the article, international scientists view the petition "as another industry effort to weaken federal regulations by 'bullying' scientific institutions " like WHO. The article correctly provides CRE's different point of view: international studies must meet the same quality standards as domestic studies if federal agencies are to use them. CRE's position has been reinforced by a recent statement by NHTSA. The article points out that this debate is likely to expand to other contexts such as the use of IARC studies at Superfund Sites.


  • Click for Inside Washington article.
  • Click to read more about CRE's HHS Petition.
  • Click to read about NHTSA statement.
  • NHTSA Advises Public That Rulemaking Comments Must Meet Data Quality Act Standards
    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration now correctly advises the public that any comments on NHTSA's proposed rules must meet Data Quality Act Standards before NHTSA can use or rely on the comments. NHTSA explains in its proposed rulemaking to amend Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 208: "Please note that pursuant to the Data Quality Act, in order for substantive data to be relied upon and used by the agency, it must meet the information quality standards set forth in the OMB and DOT Data Quality Act guidelines. Accordingly, we encourage you to consult the guidelines in preparing your comments." 68 FR 46539, 46542 n.4 (Aug. 6, 2003). CRE believes that all federal agencies subject to the Data Quality Act should provide similar advisories in their proposed rulemaking notices.


  • Click for NHTSA's notice of proposed rulemaking.
  • Law Firm Files Data Quality Act Petition Related To Asbestos Litigation
    The law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius (MLB) filed a Data Quality Act Request for Correction with EPA regarding EPA's "Guidance for Preventing Asbestos Disease Among Auto Mechanics" (the Gold Book). This EPA document provides guidance to auto mechanics on the hazards of asbestos exposure during auto repair, and on how to avoid the hazards, in particular during brake repair. MLB asks EPA to discontinue any further dissemination of the Gold Book, and to "notify the public, through EPA's website or otherwise, that the Gold Book is outdated from a scientific and regulatory perspective." MLB argues that the Gold Book violates Data Quality Act Standards because it relies on inadequate/inappropriate data and literature; because it is outdated; and because its preparation, funding, review and approval are undocumented and cannot be verified or evaluated. Several juries have relied heavily on the Gold Book in awarding large verdicts to plaintiffs claiming injury from asbestos exposure during brake repair. MLB's Request for Correction is important because it is one of the first uses of the Data Quality Act with regard to information that has been introduced as expert evidence in litigation. EPA as not yet responded to MLB's Request for Correction.

  • Click to for MLB's request for Correction.
  • CRE Challenges Federal Use of WHO Dietary Study, Emphasizes International Scientific Studies Must Comply With Data Quality Act and Guidelines
    CRE has filed a Request for Correction of Information contained in a World Health Organization (WHO) Report. Both USDA and HHS have stated an intent to base their 2005 Dietary Guidelines, in part, on a WHO Report. Before USDA and HHS are legally able to rely on any of the data and analyses contained in WHO Technical Report 916, the agencies must conduct a Data Quality pre-dissemination review to ensure that all information used by the agency fully complies the U.S. Government's Data Quality standards. The pre-dissemination review process needs to include participation by all stakeholders. Subsequent to the review, USDA and HHS or WHO may need to supplement the WHO Report with corrections before the agencies will be able to base policy guidance on any information, including recommendations, contained in the Report.

  • Click to read Request for Correction.
  • Click to read CRE transmittal letter to USDA and HHS.
  • Click to read CRE transmittal letter to WHO and FAO.
  • Click to submit a comment.
  • CRE Commends New EPA Data Quality Assessment Factors
    EPA's Science Policy Council recently published "A Summary of General Assessment Factors for Evaluating the Quality of Scientific and Technical Information." This important new document constitutes EPA's "effort to enhance the transparency about EPA's quality expectations for information that is voluntarily submitted to or generated by the Agency for various purposes." EPA's Assessment Factors document in particular clarifies the Data Quality standards that apply to EPA's use of models. CRE sent Dr. Paul Gilman, EPA Science Advisor, a letter complimenting the Agency "on an excellent piece of work which will have a significant impact on the timely and efficient implementation of the Data Quality Act."

  • Click for EPA's Assessment Factors document.
  • Click for CRE's letter to Dr. Gilman.
  • CRE Recommends that University Policies Apply Data Quality Standards to Faculty Submissions to Agencies
    University faculty members and other personnel often submit comments and information to federal agencies with the specific intent to influence policies, regulatory actions, or information they disseminate to the public. CRE has recently noted instances in which university personnel have submitted comments to agencies containing demonstrably inaccurate or biased information, and identifying themselves by their university position. CRE's August 6, 2003 letter to universities and their national organizations recommends that they remind faculty and other personnel that along with their special status in the community comes a responsibility to be intellectually honest, accurate, and unbiased in such communications, and that this responsibility is spelled out in the federal Data Quality guidelines. CRE also recommends that they review their policies and consider expressly incorporating the standards of the Data Quality guidelines.


  • Click to read CRE letter.
  • Click to submit a comment to CRE.


  • CRE Comments on Atrazine Frog SAP

    EPA conducted a three-day Science Advisory Panel on atrazine's endocrine effects on amphibians: i.e., frogs. CRE's comments on the SAP reiterated the points made in CRE's Data Quality Act Petition on this issue. First, EPA cannot regulate atrazine for wildlife endocrine effects until there are accurate, reliable and reproducible tests for such effects. Second, there are no such tests at this time. EPA agrees with these points based on its response to CRE's DQA Petition and based on EPA's White Paper for the SAP. The SAP's review of this issue is important because it may be the first SAP review of test reproducibility and reliability issues under the Data Quality Act. The SAP's report on this issue should be out by the end of July.

  • Click to view CRE's comments
  • CRE Responds to CPR Letter to EPA and OMB Alleging CRE Misuse of Data Quality Act

    On May 19, two academic members of the Center for Progressive Regulation wrote to EPA Administrator Whitman and OIRA Administrator Graham complaining that CRE was attempting to misuse the DQA when it filed comments with EPA rebutting comments on a biosolids rulemaking submitted by NRDC and a Cornell University project director. They alleged that the CRE comments constituted a DQ "complaint" which was an attempt to "quell scientific debate" and "pick-off" or "censor" comments "outside the normal confines of the rulemaking process." The CPR letter also argued at length that both OMB and CRE have misinterpreted the DQA as applying to information disseminated as part of rulemaking proceedings. The CRE response explains how the CPR assertions are inaccurate and reflect a misunderstanding of the CRE comments and the Data Quality legislation and guidance.

  • Click to view the CRE response
  • Click to view the CPR letter
  • Click to view the original CRE letter
  • Click here for CyberActivist.US
  • Einstein's Lectures on Electricity and Magnetism Demonstrate the Role of Data Quality and Transparency in Illuminating Complex Subject Matter

    Lecture notes by Albert Einstein for a course on electricity and magnetism demonstrate that careful attention to Data Quality and transparency are essential for disseminating information about complex scientific issues. However, the lectures also demonstrate that, when requisite care is given to Data Quality, even difficult topics become accessible to a wider audience, thus expanding the ability of stakeholders to participate in the discussion. The following quote concerning continuously distributed electricity, following a discussion of the generalized form of Gauss's theorem, provides a lucid example of how Einstein carefully dealt with the use of assumptions. "So far we have assumed that electricity is unalterably bound to small bodies (treated as points). But the character of experience favors the assumption that electricity is spatially distributed. We must generalize our investigations in this sense." (p.6)
  •  
  • Click to read English translation of Einstein lecture notes from the Albert Einstein Archives, The Jewish National and University Library, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

  •  
  • Click here for CyberActivist.US

    OMB Urged to Include DOT's Data Quality Guidelines In Regulatory Analysis Guidelines
    CRE recommended OMB include the statistical portion of DOT's Data Quality guidelines in OIRA's government-wide regulatory analysis guidelines. CRE advocates use of these statistical guidelines (Appendix A of the DOT Data Quality guidelines) by all agencies in their regulatory analyses because the guidelines constitute a "best practice" that promotes transparency throughout the analytic process. The guidelines also contain analytic principles for employing sound statistical methods, identifying and correcting errors, and ensuring clarity of work products. CRE's comments were in response to OMB's request for comment on their Draft 2003 Report to Congress on the Costs and Benefits of Federal Regulations.

  • Click here for CRE's comments to OMB
  • Click here to read CRE's white paper analyzing DOT's pre-
         dissemination review process
  • Click here to read DOT's Data Quality Guidelines
  • Click here for CyberActivist.US
  • The Data Quality Act Applies to Rulemakings
    There recently has been discussion in several contexts as to whether the Data Quality Act in general, and its administrative correction process in particular, apply to information disseminated by agencies during rulemakings. CRE examined this issue during OMB's and the agencies' development of Data Quality Guidelines. Based on the text of the Data Quality Act, the relevant legislative history, and common principles of statutory construction, the Act and the administrative correction process clearly do apply to rulemakings and to all other information publicly disseminated by agencies subject to the Act. CRE's memorandum on this issue can be accessed below.

  • Click here for CRE's memorandum on applicability of the Data Quality Act
  • CRE Raises Data Quality Act Issues in EPA's PFOA Review
    EPA solicited public comment on the Agency's proposed negotiation of Environmental Consent Agreements (ECAs) requiring additional testing for Perfluoroctanoic Acid (PFOA). EPA's Federal Register notice explained that one of the primary purposes of these ECAs is to develop data necessary to perform a PFOA risk assessment. EPA acknowledges that the development of these data will require accurate and reliable tests for many different media. CRE's comments stressed the Data Quality Act requirements for these tests. In particular, CRE emphasized the need for validating reproducible tests for PFOA in human and animal blood. The Data Quality Act requires validation of these tests before EPA can disseminate PFOA risk information based on human or animal blood levels. There currently are no validated PFOA blood tests that have been demonstrated to be reproducible among different laboratories.

  • Click here for CRE's comments
  • Click here for the EPA's Federal Register notice
  • Click here for CyberActivist.US
  • CRE Files Comments on ESA Consultation
    EPA, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Marine Fisheries Service sought public comment on how to improve their consultations regarding pesticides under the Endangered Species Act. CRE's comments on this Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking emphasized two points. First, all ESA determinations must be based on accurate and reliable data and are subject to the Data Quality Act. Second, EPA should be the lead agency in the consultation process.

  • Click here for CRE's initial comments
  • Click here for CRE's supplemental comments
  • CRE Regulatory Services
  • EIA Sets the Standard for Data Quality Act Compliance
    CRE recently had the pleasure of visiting the Energy Information Administration's website: http://www.eia.doe.gov/. This website is a model of how to disseminate information in a user-friendly manner that complies with both the letter and spirit of the Data Quality Act. In addition to publishing its own Data Quality Act Guidelines, EIA also revised its Standards Manual to conform to the new Data Quality Act standards. This remarkable Standards document states clear and essential requirements for insuring data quality. For example, with regard to the difficult issue of model validation, EIA's Standards Manual specifies in detail the steps necessary before the model can be used. Documentation of these steps is required to be placed on EIA's website for every model. EIA's Standards Manual also imposes rigorous requirements before any proprietary models are used.

  • Click here to read entire article
  • Click here for EIA's Data Quality Act Guidelines
  • Click here for EIA's Standards Manual (model issues
         discussed at pages 38-42 and 74-79 of the Manual)
  • CRE Regulatory Services
  • Seafood Company Files Data Quality Act Petition with FWS
    According to a Portland Press Herald article dated April 17, 2003, Fjord Seafood filed a Data Quality Act petition with FWS and the National Marine Fisheries Service challenging listing of Maine's wild Atlantic Salmon under the Endangered Species Act. Among other arguments, Fjord's Petition claims that the Services withheld from the public information critical to the listing. Several environmental groups, including the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, the Maine Chapter of the Sierra Club and the Conservation Law Foundation, have filed oppositions to the Petition. To the best of CRE's knowledge, this is the first Data Quality Act petition that has been formally opposed by third parties.

  • Click here for article discussing petition
  • ABA Panel Predicts Major Data Quality Act Issues
    On October 17, 2002, the ABA's section of Administrative Law and Legislative Practice held an Administrative Law Conference that included a panel discussion on "Learning to Live With the Data Quality Act." This very balanced panel included proponents of the Act (including CRE's own Jim Tozzi); opponents of the Act; and OMB officials charged with administering the Act. At the time of the panel, no Data Quality Act petitions had yet been filed. Yet, the panel and public comments remarkably predict two of the major issues raised by subsequently filed Data Quality Act Petitions: i) reproducibility of influential scientific information; and ii) application of the Petition process to ongoing public comment proceedings. The panel transcript is a valuable resource in understanding the Data Quality Act and its potential impacts on the administrative process.

  • Click to read the panel transcript
  • Click for a discussion of the subsequently filed DQA
         Petitions
  • CRE Regulatory Services
  • CRE, in First-Ever Use of Data Quality Guidance for Third Party Submissions, Issues Rebuttal to NRDC Comments on EPA Biosolids Proposal
    In its Watchdog Watch role, CRE has sent supplemental comments to EPA which warn that the NRDC comments on its draft risk assessment for land-applied biosolids cannot be used because, under both the OMB and EPA Data Quality guidance, they contain substantial inaccuracies, omissions, and biases, and lack reproducibility. The NRDC comments argued that the draft risk assessment under-estimated risks from dioxin and related compounds.

  • Click to read the CRE comments
  • Click to read the NRDC comments
  • CRE Regulatory Services
  • DOT's Data Quality Guidelines Set Benchmark Standard for Pre-Dissemination Review
    An important component of the Data Quality Act is the requirement for agencies to initiate review processes for ensuring the data disseminated to the public meets the standards promulgated pursuant to the Data Quality Act. This pre-dissemination review takes place throughout the development and analysis of information disseminated by an agency. By effectively ensuring that disseminated information meets data quality standards, the agency will minimize the use of "requests for correction" after data is disseminated. DOT's Data Quality Guidelines have established a benchmark for pre-dissemination review that should serve as a model for other agencies. In particular, the DOT guidelines establish: 1) rigorous and detailed statistical principles and guidelines; and 2) the positive duty of the Department to consult with stakeholders on Data Quality issues.

  • Click to read CRE's white paper analyzing DOT's pre-dissemination review process
  • Click to read the Department's Data Quality Guidelines
  • CRE Regulatory Services
  • EPA Administrator Announces New Transparency Program for Environmental Models
    In a February 7 memorandum, EPA Administrator Whitman established a new program to ensure greater transparency and reliability for EPA's environmental models. EPA's Council for Regulatory Modeling (CREM), EPA's Science Advisor and the Science Policy Council will take the lead in this program. Among other laudable actions, this program will "make publicly accessible an inventory of EPA's most frequently used models, which will include information on a model's use, development, validation, and quality assessment." Administrator Whitman's memorandum identifies the new Data Quality Act as one of the reasons for this program. CRE applauds EPA's action.
  • Click here for Whitman memo
  • EPA Acts on Atrazine Data Quality Petition
    EPA has announced its position on atrazine's purported endocrine effects on wildlife in response to the Data Quality Act Petition filed in November by the Triazine Network, the Kansas Corn Growers Association and CRE. This Petition argued that EPA's FIFRA/FQPA Environmental Risk Assessment for atrazine violated both EPA's own DQA Guidelines and Government-wide ICCVAM guidelines by concluding that atrazine causes endocrine effects in frogs and other wildlife when there are no validated tests for those effects. EPA concluded that the Agency's ecological risk assessment "does not suggest that endocrine disruption...be regarded as an regulatory endpoint at this time."

  • Click for discussion of EPA action
  • Click for EPA's IRED (relevant pages are 68 and 72)
  • Click for related article on June SAP Meeting
  • Click for the atrazine DQA Petition
  • CRE Regulatory Services
  • EPA-CRE Disagreement on the Use of Unvalidated Tests
    The Bureau of National Affairs (BNA) reported on a speech made by an EPA policy official in which he stated that the agency could utilize unvalidated tests as a basis for rulemaking. CRE argues that preventing federal government reliance on unvalidated data is precisely the reason that the Data Quality Act was enacted.

  • Click to read Atrazine.US and BNA article
  • CRE Regulatory Services
  • Status Of Data Quality Act Petitions
    In addition to the three earlier filed Petitions, BMW filed a new Data Quality Act Petition requesting correction of information on several EPA data bases regarding BMW's RCRA compliance. EPA has also initially denied the Chamber of Commerce's Petition. While there has been no formal response to the four Senators' Petition, Administrator Whitman has sent them a discouraging letter regarding it.

    • The first Petition requested that EPA's IRIS listing for barium be revised. EPA initially denied this Petition on January 30, 2003. The Petitioner Chemical Products Corporation can now file an administrative appeal.


    • The second Petition, filed by CRE and agricultural groups, requested correction of EPA's FIFRA/FQPA environmental risk assessment for atrazine to clarify that there can be no reliable data on atrazine's purported endocrine effects on wildlife until there are properly validated tests for such effects. On January 30, 2003, EPA sent Petitioners a letter which said that EPA will respond to their Petition in EPA's atrazine interim IRED. The IRED, which became available on February 20, granted much of the relief sought by the Petition. The Petitioners are the Triazine Network, the Kansas Corn Growers Association and CRE.


    • The Chamber of Commerce filed a petition seeking correction of the minutes for an EPA SAB meeting held on October 1, 2002. In a letter dated March 5, 2003, EPA initially denied the Chamber's Petition on the ground that the SAB was not subject to the Data Quality Act.


    • The Competitive Enterprise Institute has filed Data Quality Petitions with NOAA and OSTP related to global climate change. The CEI Petitions seek withdrawal of the National Assessment on Climate Change, which is the inter-agency technical document that underlies most of the federal Government's recent statements about global climate change.


    • Four US Senators have also filed a petition to EPA regarding NPDES for Oil and Gas Construction Activity. EPA has not formally acted yet on the Senators' Petition. However, in a letter dated March 7, 2002, Ambassador Whitman disagreed with most of the flawed data arguments in their Petition. EPA has also published the final rule in question, and the Senators' Petition had requested that the final rule not be published.


    • BMW's Petition requests correction of EPA's Enforcement Compliance History Online database; EPA's Sector Facility Indexing Project database; and other EPA compliance databases. BMW claims that these databases erroneously show BMW as being in Significant Non-Compliance (SNC) with RCRA. BMW claims that these SNC listings for it are based only on alleged violation of an EPA guidance memorandum which is now being judicially reviewed by the D.C. Circuit.
  • Click here for Data Quality Petitions by Agency
  • Click here for barium Petition
  • Click here for EPA Response
  • Click here for atrazine Petition
  • Click here for EPA letter
  • Click here for related article on EPA's IRED response
         to atrazine petition.
  • Click here for Chamber Petition
  • Click here for EPA response
  • Click here for CEI global climate change petition to NOAA
  • Click here for CEI global climate change petition to OSTP
  • Click here for Senatorial Data Quality Petition
  • Click here for Whitman letter
  • Click here for BMW Petition
  • Proposed NHTSA Tire Safety Tests Produce Random Results
    The tire safety tests and other information in NHTSA’s FMVSS No 139 rulemaking do not comply with the standards set by the Department of Transportation’s Data Quality guidelines. Of particular concern, two key tests, the endurance test and the high speed test, are unreliable and produce essentially random results. NHTSA documents in the docket state that "4 of 8 tire brand/model failures were consistent with this [NHTSA’s] theory [of how tires should perform in the endurance test.]" The NHTSA test documents for the high speed test demonstrate that only 3 of 8 tire brand/model failures were consistent with the agency’s theory of how tires should perform in the test. NHTSA’s theory was that the same brand/model of tire would accumulate more failures when subjected to tests the agency believed to be of increasing stringency. If the tires performed according to theory, it would demonstrate that the proposed tests could distinguish between stronger, i.e. potentially safer tires, and tires which were not as strong. Since the relationship between tire failure and the agency’s perception of test stringency was essentially random for both the endurance and high speed tests, the tests do not provide useful information regarding tire safety and, thus, lack utility as defined by the OMB and DOT Data Quality guidelines. CRE’s analysis of the rulemaking’s compliance with the Department’s Data Quality guidelines clearly indicate that substantial work will be needed for a final rule to meet the Department’s stringent pre-dissemination review requirements.

  • Click to read CRE’s letter to NHTSA and analysis of FMVSS No. 139 compliance with the Data Quality Act
  • CRE Regulatory Services
  • The Metcalf Insititute, A Leading Journalistic Institute for Accurate Scientific and Environmental Reporting, Spotlights the CRE Atrazine Petition
    The far-ranging implications of CRE’s atrazine petition were highlighted in an article by the Metcalf Institute discussing the Data Quality Act. The article notes that "the CRE challenge has a broader sweep: It asserts that the government may neither publish nor use scientific studies until government validation protocols are finalized."

  • Click to read the Metcalf Institiute article
  • Click to read about the Metcalf Institute
  • CRE Regulatory Services
  • OMB Watch Comparison of Proposed and Final Agency Data Quality Guidelines
    OMB Watch compares the draft and final data quality guidelines generated by a variety of agencies and departments. OMB Watch concludes, however, that since there has been a wide variety in the format, detail and release among the various agencies drafting data quality guidelines, it is possible that this comparison has missed some information. Nonetheless, the OMB Watch analyses provide interesting insights.

  • Click to view OMB chart
  • CRE Regulatory Services
  • CRE Data Quality Petition on Atrazine Criticized
    BNA’s Daily Environment Reporter reported several criticisms directed at the Atrazine Data Quality petition filed jointly by CRE, the Kansas Corn Growers Association and the Triazine Network. The World Wildlife Fund stated, "I think this is a colossally cynical action that is designed to impose a gag order on EPA from saying anything meaningful about endocrine disruption from chemicals." OMB Watch stated, "It creates a vulnerability in the agency that will allow the regulated industry to slow down and possibly derail agency actions." It should be noted that CRE examined a large number of other possible Data Quality actions prior to deciding to file the Atrazine petition. A reading of the petition clearly demonstrates that there are no validated tests for measuring endocrine disruption and this deficiency is in complete violation of the Data Quality Act.

  • Click for the joint Data Quality Petition
  • Click for the Exhibits to the Joint Petition
  • CRE Regulatory Services
  • CRE, Farmers File Joint Data Quality Act Petition on Atrazine
    The Kansas Corn Growers Association and the Triazine Network joined CRE in filing a joint Data Quality Act Petition requesting corrections to influential information in EPA's Final Registration Eligibility Science Chapter for Atrazine: Environmental Fate and Effects Chapter (April 22, 2002). The Petition, filed November 25, 2002, requests correction of those parts of EPA's Environmental Risk Assessment stating that the herbicide atrazine causes endocrine effects in the environment. EPA's statements do not meet the Data Quality Act's reliability, reproducibility and utility standards because there are no validated tests for determining whether atrazine causes environmental endocrine effects.

  • Click for the joint Data Quality Petition
  • Click for the Exhibits to the Joint Petition
  • CRE Regulatory Services
  • CRE Invokes Data Quality Act for NHTSA Information Collection Request
    One of OMB's tools in enforcing agency compliance with the Data Quality Act is through their statutory authority, under the Paperwork Reduction Act, to decide whether to approve Information Collection Requests. OMB has publicly committed to approve only those proposed information collections that "are likely to obtain data that would comply with OMB and agency" Data Quality guidelines. NHTSA recently submitted an ICR for the TREAD Act-related Early Warning reporting system. In comments to OMB, CRE demonstrated NHTSA has not yet complied ith DOT's Data Quality guidelines in several critical respects including making public a detailed plan for using the data that would be obtained under the ICR. In that Early Warning ICR is one of the first major information collections to be presented to OMB after October 1st, CRE will be reporting on the Early Warning reporting system's compliance with the Data Quality Act.

  • Click to view the CRE Comments
  • CRE Regulatory Services
  • The Center for Data Quality (C4DQ) Urges Greater Focus on Pre-Dissemination Review by Agencies
    In comments on CRE's Interpretive Bulletin #1, C4DQ points out the importance of that portion of the OMB guidance which emphasizes the need for agency processes to address quality in the creation, collection, and maintenance of information as well as dissemination. In other words, quality in dissemination is only the tip of the iceberg. Agencies should seek active partnerships with, and assistance from, the private sector in tailoring pre-dissemination processes for individual programs so that quality is maximized before there is any possible need for someone to resort to the newly established administrative correction mechanisms. Post-dissemination correction is likely to be an inefficient and poor substitute for proactive quality controls.

  • Click to read view C4DQ comment
  • Click to submit a comment
  • CRE Regulatory Services
  • OMB Outlines Its Role in Overseeing Implementation of the Data Quality Act
    OMB has issued a memorandum outlining its role in the implementation of the Data Quality Act. The memorandum requires that copies of certain categories of complaints be forwarded to OMB prior to agency action. The OMB memorandum also emphasizes the importance of the agency annual reports to OMB on their respective implementation of the Act. OMB has removed most reporting requirements when agencies present such information on their website. As set forth in the Reg Week article of last week, CRE plans to issue periodically CRE Interpretive Bulletins for consideration by OMB and the agencies. The Bulletins consist of CRE interpretations of agency guidelines, which if adopted, will increase the effectiveness of the implementation of the Data Quality Act.

  • Click to read the OMB Memorandum
  • CRE Regulatory Review
  • CRE Interpretive Bulletin No. 1
    One of CRE's mandates is to promote efficiency in agency actions. Since most agencies have finalized their Data Quality guidelines, CRE will be providing recommendations for improving the efficiency of the federal Data Quality program. CRE will communicate its recommendations through Interpretive Bulletins. Prior to finalizing the Bulletins, CRE will post them in draft on this site for public comment. CRE requests the views of its readers with respect to topics that should be addressed through the Bulletins. The first CRE Interpretive Bulletin concerns an issue raised by a number of persons who, although supportive of the Act, are concerned about the potential for correction petitions to over-burden agencies. Basically, the issue could be described as the difference between a "Win-at-the-Agency" approach and a "Win-in-Court" strategy. In the former, a petitioner asks the agency to correct only those determinative issues that affect an outcome, while the latter approach develops a comprehensive list of issues, with varying degrees of significance, with the intent to develop a complete record for eventual judicial review.

    Assessing the Future Impact of the Data Quality Act on Federal Agencies
    A panel sponsored by the American Bar Association will convene at the Ritz-Carlton on Thursday, October 17th, at 3:00p.m. The meeting, which will mark the inception of Federal agencies' compliance with OMB guidelines specified under the Data Quality Act, will include:
     

    Program Chair and Moderator:

     

    Wendy Wagner, Joe A. Worsham Centennial Professor of Law, University of Texas School of Law, Austin, TX

     

    Speakers:

     

    Fred Anderson, Cadwalader, Wickersham and Taft, Washington, DC

     

    Dr. John Graham, Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC

     

    David Hawkins, Natural Resources Defense Council, Washington, DC

     

    Sid Shapiro, Rounds Professor of Law, University of Kansas and The Center for Progressive Regulation, Lawrence KS

     

    Jim Tozzi, Board of Advisors, The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness, and Former Deputy Administrator; OIRA, OMB, Washington, DC

    Panelists will review and assess the requirements of the guidelines, and assess the potential impact of the requirements on agencies in the immediate and long-term future.

    CRE Comments on EPA's Proposed Data Quality Guidelines for Third-Party Submissions
    EPA's Draft Assessment Factors for Evaluating the Quality of Information from External Sources explains how EPA will apply Data Quality Act standards to information submitted to EPA by parties outside the Agency. CRE's comments on this very important document identified several shortcomings. One of CRE's major concerns is EPA's proposed use of a long list of EPA documents to determine whether third-party submissions comply with the Data Quality Act. CRE's comments explain that many documents on this list do not comply with the Data Quality Act. Consequently, they should not be used as a yardstick for Data Quality Act compliance.

  • Click to read CRE's comments
  • CRE Regulatory Services
  • EPA Proposes New Data Quality Act Guidelines for Third-Party Submissions and Announces a September 20 Public Meeting on the Proposal
    Much of the "information" disseminated by EPA is generated by third parties outside of the Agency: e.g., public comment in rulemakings and outside research. In the September 9th Federal Register notice, EPA proposed Data Quality Act guidelines for third-party information submissions. The notice provides EPA's proposed standards for determining whether third-party submissions are of sufficient quality to be used by the Agency. It includes appendices identifying the risk assessment methods, models, and guidance documents EPA will use to determine whether third-party submissions comply with the Data Quality Act Standards. Yet many of these methods, models and guidance documents themselves may violate the Data Quality Act Standards. EPA's website states that written comments must be postmarked by September 30.

  • Click to review EPA's Federal Register notice
  • Click to review EPA's proposed Data Quality guidelines for third-party submissions
  • Click to register for the September 20 public meeting
  • CRE Regulatory Services

  • OMB Affirms Requirement for Timely Agency Responses to Data Quality Complaints During Rulemakings
    In a September 5th memorandum from Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) Administrator John Graham, OMB thanked federal agencies for the significant progress they have made in developing their draft Data Quality guidelines. The OMB memo also provided additional guidance on process issues so as to promote uniformity across agencies. Among the guidance provided by OMB was specific recommended language to ensure that agencies respond to Data Quality Act complaints during rulemakings in a timely fashion.

  • Click to review the OMB memorandum and attachment
  • CRE Regulatory Services

  • Watchdog Watch: NRDC Expresses Views on CRE's Regulatory Watchdog Role
    CRE is launching a new feature entitled "Watchdog Watch" to review the activities of organizations whose primary activity is to either participate directly in a wide range of regulatory proceedings or, through their website, to significantly influence the participation of other persons in such rulemakings. To this end, the Center has reviewed comments submitted by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to EPA on the agency's proposed Data Quality Act guidelines, spelling out in some detail the document's strengths and areas of potential improvement. However, of comparable concern to NRDC was CRE's emerging preeminence as a "Regulatory Watchdog," which not only tracks the regulatory activities of federal agencies, but also monitors the regulatory activities of special interest groups. In future Watchdog Watch articles, CRE will present an analysis of statements and positions taken by such groups.

  • Click to review excerpts from NRDC's comments related to CRE
  • Click to review NRDC's comments to EPA on the agency's proposed Data Quality guidelines
  • Regulatory Watchdogs
  • CRE Regulatory Services


  • Additional Agencies Issue Proposed Data Quality Guidelines
    In recognition of the importance of the Data Quality Act, CRE is pleased to report that additional agencies have now issued proposed Data Quality guidelines for public comment (click on "Data Quality Guidelines by Agency" box to access guidelines). While in some cases, these proposals may be late, the agencies have nevertheless worked to comply with the statute. CRE also applauds various Bureaus within the Department of the Interior for preparing their own Data Quality guidelines, which further refine earlier, Department-wide guidelines. The Center believes that further detail and specificity in guidelines at the sub-agency level will not only increase transparency but result in smoother functioning of the standards and procedures put in place pursuant to the Act. Comment deadlines for these new guidelines are set forth below.

     

    Department of Energy

    August 21

     

    Department of the Interior

     

     
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • September 14

     
  • Bureau of Reclamation
  • September 5

     
  • Fish & Wildlife Service
  • September 5

     
  • Office of Surface Mining
  • August 21

     
  • National Parks Service
  • September 5

     
  • U.S. Geological Survey
  • September 5

     

    Export-Import Bank of the United States

    August 16

     

    National Endowment for the Humanities

    September 9

     

    Office of Government Ethics

    August 30

     

    Office of Personnel Management

    August 21


  • Click to view the list of Agencies and their Data Quality Guidelines
  • Click to submit a comment
  • CRE Regulatory Services

  • Failure to Withdraw Flawed Proposals and Drafts Raises Cross-cutting Data Quality Issue
    In its recent memorandum to all federal agencies on Data Quality issues, OMB indicated concern with situations where agencies continue to disseminate information for an unusually long time which does not meet the new Data Quality Act standards. OMB recognized that even though such information may be labeled as "draft" or"proposed," if it remains outstanding for an extended period, it can have deleterious effects which should be remedied. However, apparently, none of the agencies have addressed this issue in their draft Data Quality guidelines. Agency guidelines should state that once it becomes apparent that a proposal or draft is flawed, or final action is deferred due to recognized problems with the proposal or draft, it will be unequivocally withdrawn rather than being consigned to indefinite status as a deferred proposal, draft, or interim position. If the problems are later resolved, the agency can then issue a new proposal or draft.

  • Click to submit a comment
  • CRE In the News
  • CRE Regulatory Services

  • National Academies Publish Transcript of Data Quality Workshop
    The National Academies' Science, Technology, and Law Program has now made the transcript available from its Data Quality Workshop held May 30, 2002. This was the third and final session on this topic, and the purpose of this open, public meeting was to discuss newly-issued draft agency-specific guidelines, issued to conform with OMB's government-wide Data Quality guidelines. The NAS meeting was attended by over 200 participants, and CRE believes that the exchange of ideas at the meeting was useful to federal agencies as they seek to finalize their Data Quality guidelines.

  • Click to review the transcript and related materials from the May 30, 2002 NAS Data Quality Workshop
  • Click to review the transcript and related materials from the March 21-22, 2002 NAS Data Quality Workshop
  • Click to submit a comment
  • CRE Regulatory Services

  • CRE Reader Reports on Serious Data Quality Problems with Department of Education Information Related to Special Education
    A retired member of the Professional Advisory Board to a chapter of the Tourette Syndrome Association recently wrote to CRE to make the Center and its readers aware of serious deficiencies in the quality of information issued by the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) related to special education data, which this official labels as "blatantly inaccurate." Much of this bad information continues to be used by the Department in making regulatory and policy decision, despite the fact that these information problems were cited in studies issued by the Department's own Inspector General. If such reports are indeed true, this is just the type of situation that Congress intended the Data Quality Act to remedy.

  • Click to review the Guest Column and to examine examples of problematic studies issued by the Department of Education
  • Click to submit a comment
  • CRE Regulatory Services

  • ABA Section on Administrative Law Issues Policy Letters to Agencies on Data Quality Guidelines
    The American Bar Association's (ABA) Section on Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice has issued Policy Letters to eight key federal agencies on their Data Quality guidelines. While not representing the ABA as a whole, the Section's comment letters provided insightful recommendations on the process and procedural aspects of the proposed guidelines related to correction of information. For example, in its letter to EPA, the Section challenges the agency on several points, including: EPA's attempt to prohibit corrections during the pendency of an open rulemaking proceeding; the agency's suggestion (contrary to the statute) that it may elect to not correct certain information due to "Agency priorities, time constraints or resources"; or limits on subjecting models to the correction process. In light of the ABA Section's considerable expertise in matters of administrative law, CRE urges agency officials to carefully review and adopt the recommendations set forth in these important Policy Letters.

  • Click to read more, including access to the ABA Section's Policy Letter to key federal agencies on their proposed Data Quality guidelines
  • CRE Regulatory Services

  • Washington Legal Foundation (WLF) Article Seeks Increased Judicial Review of Agency Science
    Alan Raul and Julie Zampa, of Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP, recently authored a WLF Legal Backgrounder entitled "Deeper Judicial Scrutiny Needed for Agencies' Use of Science." This thought-provoking article analyzed new ground broken by the Tozzi v. DHHS case in terms of expanding judicial review of federal agencies' use of science. Data Quality Act guidelines are also discussed as a positive step to improve transparency of agency decisionmaking and the quality of agency science. However, the article notes that courts have adopted very inconsistent approaches in conducting reviews of agency science, with some serious and probative, but others overly deferential. The authors conclude that the Tozzi case took a valuable step by increasing availability of judicial review, one which courts must build upon by exercising these enhanced powers so as to review agency science in a more consistent, predictable, and probative manner.

  • Click to review the WLF Legal Backgrounder
  • Click to submit a comment
  • CRE Regulatory Services

  • FCC Issues Study on Horizontal Concentration in the Cable Industry with Data Quality Implications
    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently released a study examining the extent to which different levels of horizontal concentration among multichannel video program distributors might affect the flow of video programming to consumers. This study, utilizing experimental economics, was designed to supplement an ongoing FCC rulemaking proceeding, examining, among other things, the subscriber (horizontal ownership) limits that apply to cable operators. CRE believes that this study, based upon experimental economics, could have a significant impact on FCC regulatory activities, and consequently, it is subject to the Data Quality Act guidelines. CRE is considering conducting a review of this document to determine whether it complies with the Data Quality guidelines.

  • Click to read FCC's first Public Notice (6/3/02)
  • Click to read FCC's second Public Notice (7/3/02)
  • Click to read FCC's Working Paper on Horizontal Competition in the Cable Industry
  • Click to view Attachment 1
  • Click to view Attachment 2
  • Click to view Attachment 3
  • CRE Regulatory Services

  • DOE Proposed Data Quality Guidelines Break New Ground on Two Important Issues
    The Department of Energy's (DOE) proposed Data Quality guidelines were issued late, but in at least two respects, they were worth the wait. First, DOE proposes to apply Data Quality Act standards to its Information Collection Requests (ICRs) submitted to OMB for approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). In DOE's own words, "... for all proposed collections of information that will be disseminated to the public, DOE Elements should demonstrate in their PRA clearance submissions to OMB that the proposed collection of information will result in information that will be collected, maintained, and used in a way consistent with the OMB and DOE information quality guidelines." Second, DOE proposes a detailed application of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) risk assessment standards to ecological as well as human health risk assessments. CRE commends DOE, and urges the public to file comments supporting DOE's proposals on these two issues. Comments are due to the agency by August 22, 2002.

  • Click to read DOE's proposed Data Quality guidelines
  • Click to read related BNA article
  • CRE Regulatory Services

  • CRE Applauds Decision of EPA's SAB to Form Data Quality Act Committee
    CRE understands that the Executive Committee of EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) has decided to create a new committee on EPA's development of Data Quality Act guidelines. Important issues to be addressed by the SAB Committee include reproducibility and third-party information submissions. CRE believes that this approach will provide EPA with a source of strong and independent scientific expertise as it tackles ongoing information quality issues covered by the Data Quality Act guidelines. The Center urges other federal agencies to consider, as appropriate, establishing independent Data Quality Committees to advise the agencies regarding their Data Quality Act guidelines and issues raised thereunder.

  • Click to submit a comment

    CRE Proposes Alternative to Additional Regulation of the Securities Market
    Over-regulation of Corporate America will reduce innovation and suppress economic growth. As is usual when there is a failure in the markets, the government's first instinct is to respond with additional regulatory proposals, without first studying ways to strengthen the existing regulatory system. It is this habitual discarding of existing systems and the creation of new ones that contributes to an increase in the federal regulatory reach. A case in point is the current failures in the securities markets. Congress is considering passage of laws to expand regulation of corporations and to create a vast new regulatory bureaucracy to check financial reports. However, before such steps are taken, CRE recommends consideration of the alternative of applying Data Quality Act guidelines to the corporate data submitted to the SEC. CRE has under consideration a proposal to develop Data Quality standards specific to financial reports; CRE welcomes your views on developing this proposal. In particular, applying the Data Quality Act to corporate filings at the SEC is an alternative to creation of the Accounting Oversight Board contained in the Senate bill.

  • Read more, including CRE's letter to the SEC Chairman recommending consideration of the Data Quality Act approach
  • CRE Regulatory Services

  • Lawmakers Provide Comments on EPA's Proposed Data Quality Guidelines
    Congressmen W.J. "Billy" Tauzin and Paul Gillmor recently issued a comment letter to EPA regarding the agency's proposed Data Quality guidelines, with special focus was on statements related to risk assessments. According to the letter, "EPA's proposal would be inconsistent with law and it leaves completely open-ended loopholes for EPA not to follow the SDWA principles or any principles of objectivity." The comments also take EPA to task for failing to state a reasonable rationale for treating human health risk assessments differently from other forms of risk assessment (e.g. drinking water, environmental health and safety). CRE urges EPA to carefully consider the viewpoints of Members of Congress who helped pass the Data Quality Act.

  • Click to read the Tauzin-Gillmor letter to EPA
  • Click to submit a comment

    OMB Firm on Obligation of Agencies to Comply with its Data Quality Guidelines
    OMB's Administrator of OIRA issued a memorandum for all federal agencies pointing out a number of areas in which agency draft guidelines did not appear to be consistent with the OMB guidelines. The memorandum emphasized that agencies need to "commit" to standards which are either the same as those in the OMB guidelines or are consistent with them (§ III). It also requested that agencies not insert statements in their guidelines suggesting that they were free to ignore the OMB guidelines (§ V). CRE also notes, however, that the OIRA memorandum did not cite or quote the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 which provided the original legal basis for OMB's authority and the agencies' responsibility to comply with the OMB guidelines. The relevant statutory text is therefore provided below.

  • Click for text of statutory provisions
  • CRE Regulatory Services
  • Submit a comment

  • University of Colorado Newsletter Offers Exchange of Views on Data Quality Act
    The University of Colorado's Center for Science and Technology Policy Research recently published articles in its Ogmius Newsletter offering an exchange of views on the Data Quality Act and its impact on the role of science in policymaking. One article was authored by CRE Advisory Board Member, Jim Tozzi, and an editorial response was provided by Chuck Herrick of Stratus Consulting. The Center supports such efforts to explore such key policy issues so that the Data Quality Act's implementation is both effective and workable.

  • Click to review the Ogmius Editorial by Jim Tozzi
  • Click to review the Ogmius Editorial Response by Chuck Herrick
  • Click to submit a comment

    CRE Files Notice of Intent to Sue DOE for Violation of the Data Quality Act
    CRE filed notice of its intent to sue the Department of Energy (DOE) for violation of its nondiscretionary duty to publish proposed Data Quality Act guidelines for public notice and comment. DOE is the only Cabinet-level agency that has failed to comply with its duties under the Data Quality Act, despite a prior request by CRE for publication of proposed guidelines. DOE's proposed guidelines must be sent to OMB by August 1st, and they must be published in final form by October 1st. Consequently, DOE's inexplicable violation of the statutory deadlines for publishing proposed guidelines has already significantly diminished the public's right to submit meaningful comment. Given CRE's historical involvement in the Data Quality Act, this may be the first in a number of judicial actions that CRE will file. For example, CRE may sue agencies whose Data Quality guidelines do not comply with OMB's government-wide guidelines.

  • Click to review CRE's Notice of Intent to Sue DOE
  • Click to review CRE's earlier request to DOE regarding publication of Data Quality Act guidelines
  • CRE Regulatory Services

  • DOE Energy Information Administration Seeks Comments on Testing and Research Questionnaire to Improve Data Quality
    The Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration is seeking public comments on its voluntary survey entitled "Generic Clearance for Questionnaire Testing and Research" as part of its form clearance request to OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act. The survey is used in a variety of settings to determine how to best modify questionnaires in order to improve the quality of the data generated, and CRE strongly supports DOE's efforts in this regard. However, the Center believes that DOE should also factor in the standards set forth in OMB's and the Department's Data Quality Act guidelines. Both the survey and the guidelines serve the same goal, and to the extent that survey information is disseminated, the guidelines already apply.

  • Click to review DOE's proposed Information Collection Request (67 FR 38085, May 31, 2002)
  • Click to submit a comment

    MIT Professor Offers Congressional Testimony Related to Global Warming
    Dr. Richard Lindzen, a senior professor at MIT, recently offered Senate testimony on the Global Warming report and summary issued by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The testimony pointed out a variety of scientific uncertainties in models designed to predict climate change and of the tendency of the media and the public to focus on worst-case scenarios. Dr. Lindzen called the IPCC document "flawed," and he questions the integrity and efficacy of the entire IPCC process, which he claims was developed to build a case for carbon dioxide emissions reductions under the Kyoto Treaty. CRE offers this testimony to its readers as a fresh and informative perspective on the Global Warming issue.

  • Click to review the testimony of Dr. Richard S. Lindzen before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
  • Click to submit a comment

    EPA Extends Comment Period For Data Quality Guidelines
    EPA informed CRE Friday afternoon June 14 that it had decided to extend its public comment period on its proposed guidelines to June 21 due to numerous requests received. The Agency still plans to meet the August 1 deadline for submitting its draft final guidelines to OMB for review.

  • Click to submit a comment

    OMB's Supplementary Guidance on Data Quality: 1 Step Forward, 1 Leap Back
    OMB recently issued supplementary guidance clarifying how federal agencies should interpret OMB's earlier government-wide guidelines implementing the Data Quality Act. OMB's latest guidance made several advances, in that it addresses a number of inconsistencies among agencies. For example, the new guidance eliminates agency attempts to apply the guidelines on a case-by-case basis. However, OMB stepped backward by not sufficiently clarifying that agencies cannot shield entire categories of information from coverage under the Data Quality Act guidelines. Consequently, CRE believes that when OMB reviews agencies' conforming Data Quality guidelines beginning on August 1st, OMB should again specifically curtail agencies' attempts, as they did in their originally proposed guidelines, to exempt information through their broad definition of "archival data"and through their use of loopholes to exempt a significant portion of the rulemaking process from the Data Quality Act.

  • Click to review OMB's press release and memorandum to the President's Management Council regarding interpretation of the OMB Data Quality guidelines.
  • Click to review OMB's appendix of Additional Quotations of Proposed Agency Provisions Organized by Topic. (PDF 1.5MB)
  • Click to submit a comment
  • NSF Requests PRA Comments on Data Quality Correction Form
    The National Science Foundation is applying for a Paperwork Reduction Act control number for the form to be used for seeking correction of information maintained or disseminated by NSF. CRE expects similar requests for public comment on the information correction forms proposed by other agencies.

  • Read the NSF Federal Register notice
  • Click to submit a comment

    Information Quality Guidelines: CRE Issues Comments to All Federal Agencies on their Proposed Data Quality Guidelines
    In order to assist federal agencies in meeting their duties under the Data Quality Act and OMB's guidelines, CRE has submitted comments to all federal agencies that have issued proposed Data Quality guidelines. For most agencies, the Center provided Generic Comments with cross-cutting issues relevant to most or all agency guidelines, along with a Legal Memorandum challenging agency attempts to exempt certain categories of information from the guidelines coverage. For other specific agencies (e.g. DOL, FTC, FDA, CDC, EPA), CRE also issued a set of agency-specific comments. All of CRE's comments are available on the Data Quality guidelines matrix, under "CRE Comments" for each agency. However, a sample comment to the Department of Commerce is provided immediately below.

  • Click to review CRE's comment letter to the Department of Commerce
  • Review CRE's Generic Comments attachment
  • Review the CRE Legal memorandum
  • Click to access the Data Quality matrix with all agency guidelines and CRE comments to each agency
  • CRE Regulatory Services

  • Comment Extension on Draft Data Quality Guidelines
    The following agencies have informed CRE that they are extending the comment period on their proposed Data Quality Guidelines.


    Federal Agency

    Comments Due

    Department of Agriculture

    July 15

    Department of Commerce -
      Census Bureau

    June 30

    Department of Education

    June 17

    Department of Energy

    August 21

    Department of Health and
      Human Services

    June 28

    Department of Housing and
      Urban Development

    July 17

    Department of Justice

    June 28

    Department of Labor

    June 30

    Department of Labor -
      OSHA/MSHA Risk Analysis

    June 30

    Department of Transportation

    June 17

    Commodity Futures Trading
      Commission

    July 19

    Council on Environmental Quality

    July 15

    Environmental Protection Agency

    June 21

    Equal Employment Opportunity
      Commission

    June 30

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

    July 5

    Federal Maritime Commission

    July 5

    National Aeronautics and Space
      Administration

    July 12

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission

    June 26

    Office of Management and Budget

    July 1

    Office of Special Counsel

    July 10

    Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation

    June 30

    Small Business Administration

    July 5

  • Click to submit a comment

    CRE Generic Comments to All Federal Agencies on Data Quality Guidelines
    CRE has provided written comments to all federal agencies that have published proposed Data Quality guidelines. The sample letter provided below was submitted to the Department of Commerce, but it is representative of letters sent to most agencies. In addition to its letter comments, the Center has attached two papers: (1) a set of CRE Generic Comments which discuss a variety of important cross-cutting issues; and (2) a Legal Memorandum challenging the OMB's and other agencies' attempts to exempt certain categories of information from the Data Quality Act guidelines' applicability.

    CRE also submitted detailed, agency-specific comments on the Data Quality guidelines of select agencies (e.g. CDC/ATSDR, FDA, FTC, DOL, EPA) which can be accessed by below. However, all CRE comments may be viewed by clicking on "CRE Comments" under each agency under the Data Quality guidelines matrix.

  • Click to read CRE's letter to Department of Commerce
  • Click to review CRE's Generic Comments attachment
  • Click to review Legal Memorandum on proposed agency exemptions to the Data Quality Act guidelines
  • Click to access the Data Quality matrix with all agency guidelines and CRE comments to each agency
  • Click to submit a comment

    Information Quality Guidelines: CRE Issues Legal Opinion Stating that OMB Lacks Authority to Create Exemptions from Data Quality Guidelines
    When OMB issued its government-wide Data Quality guidelines, it created a select number of exemptions from the guidelines' applicability. A number of agencies went far beyond the OMB exemptions to such a degree as to nearly eviscerate the Data Quality Act. CRE has issued a legal opinion that concludes OMB and the other federal agencies lack authority to create exemptions from the Data Quality guidelines. CRE's opinion is based on the fact that the Data Quality guidelines are issued under the Information Dissemination requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act. 44 U.S.C. §§ 3504(d)(1); 3516 note.

  • Read entire article
  • Review the CRE Legal memorandum
  • CRE Regulatory Services
  • Submit a comment

  • Data Quality Act: CRE Submits Supplemental Comments to OSTP on its Data Quality Guidelines
    The Office of Science and Technology Policy's (OSTP) proposed Data Quality guidelines impose statutes of limitation for filing administrative correction petitions. Petitions that are not filed within very short periods of time after the information is disseminated could never be filed at all. These deadlines for filing petitions are so short that they would in effect deny the right to file a Data Quality petition to anyone who does not follow OSTP on a daily basis. CRE does not believe that Congress intended to restrict Data Quality petitions in this manner. CRE's comments urge OSTP not to impose these statutes of limitation for filing petitions. In addition, CRE's comments ask OSTP to address the issue of how the Data Quality guidelines apply when interagency committees, comprised of several federal agencies, disseminate information. OSTP is an appropriate agency to address this issue because it is involved in several of these interagency committees. CRE's comments propose an approach to this issue.

  • Click to review CRE's comment letter to Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • Click to review CRE's Generic Comments attachment
  • Click to review Legal Memorandum on proposed agency exemptions to the Data Quality Act Guidelines
  • Click to review the ABA comments on EPA's Data Quality
  • Click to submit a comment

    Information Quality Guidelines: EPA Ban on Third Party Clinical Human Test Data Violates Data Quality Act
    CRE has informed EPA that the agency's ban on third party clinical human test data, pending National Academy of Sciences (NAS) review, violates the Data Quality Act. In its letter to EPA, the Center points out that these data are among the best available information regarding any substance's risk to human health, and the Act requires the agency to consider and use the best available data on health risks. Therefore, EPA's categorical refusal to consider these data is a clear violation of the Act and OMB's implementing Data Quality guidelines. CRE urges EPA to change its position now. CRE is including this letter as part of its comments on EPA's proposed Data Quality guidelines.

  • Click to read CRE's letter to EPA
  • Click to read Exhibits to the CRE letter
  • CRE Regulatory Services
  • Click to submit a comment

    Information Quality Guidelines: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Issues Checklist of Key Concerns Regarding Agency Implementation of the Data Quality Act
    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has sought to encourage trade associations, businesses, and others to submit comments to agencies of interest on their proposed Data Quality guidelines. To this end, the Chamber prepared a checklist of key concerns which potential commenters might wish to consider and then provide input. The Chamber's views are also offered on each topic. CRE believes that this list is thoughtful and reasonably comprehensive, so the Center wanted to make it available to its readers.

  • Click to read the Chamber of Commerce checklist on the Agency Implementation of the Data Quality Law.
  • Click to submit a comment

    Information Quality Guidelines: CRE Submits Letter to NHTSA Recommending Points for Inclusion in Agency's Proposed Data Quality Guidelines
    CRE recently sent a letter to the Administrator of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) to recommend points for inclusion in the agency's proposed Data Quality guidelines. The Center's letter made suggestions regarding the standard of care for agency information prior to issuance, applicability of the guidelines to third-party submissions, procedures and deadlines for agency action on petitions, availability of administrative appeals, standards for "influential" information, and the applicability of the guidelines to enforcement actions. CRE hopes its comments are useful to NHTSA in preparing its proposed guidelines.

  • Click to view CRE's letter to NHTSA making recommendations on the agency's proposed Data Quality guidelines
  • Click to view CRE's letter to NHTSA urging diligent application of the Data Quality guidelines to the agency's upcoming review of CAFÉ standards
  • Click to submit a comment

    Data Quality Act: CRE Requests HHS/FDA Data Quality Guidelines Address Reduced Risk Initiatives
    CRE has written HHS to request that, in view of the FDA's responsibilities as Chair of the federal interagency Risk Assessment Consortium (RAC), the Department should ensure uniform, government-wide Data Quality standards for evaluating risk reduction initiatives.

  • Click to read CRE letter to HHS
  • CRE Regulatory Services
  • Click to submit a comment

    Information Quality Guidelines: CRE Applauds Agency Compliance with Data Quality Act as Majority of Agencies Meet Deadline for Issuing Guidelines
    CRE is pleased to report that the majority of federal agencies met the May 1st deadline for issuance of proposed Data Quality guidelines, a laudable accomplishment given the complexity of the Act. Although several Cabinet agencies have yet to publish guidelines, the government's Data Quality Program is off to a strong start. Most guidelines released to date have done a good job to lay out the fundamentals, and subject to future refinements, they can be expected to lead to improvements in agency information. CRE is compiling a repository of all federal agency Data Quality guidelines, accessible either through the blue box on the CRE homepage or through the toolbar in the Data Quality issue section. The Center will also be reporting on key guidelines and amendments thereto in the coming weeks and urges readers to their submit comments to agencies of interest with a copy to CRE.

  • Click to view agency Data Quality guidelines issued to date
  • CRE Regulatory Services
  • Click to submit a comment

    DATA QUALITY
    Data Quality: Social Security Administration and USDA Agency Issue Proposed Data Quality Guidelines
    Two additional agencies, the Social Security Administration and the Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) have posted proposed Data Quality guidelines on each agency's website for public comment. CRE believes that the NASS guidelines serve an excellent precedent by permitting individual agencies within a large Department such as USDA to draft their own standards. This approach has the potential to produce the most refined Data Quality standards and should be considered by other Departments in lieu of a one-size fits all approach. The Center has also learned that the Department of Transportation's guidelines are nearly complete and will be published in the Federal Register shortly.

  • Click to access CRE Repository of Data Quality Guidelines by Agency
  • Click to submit a comment

    Data Quality: Partners of Washington, D.C. Law Firm Author Article on Impacts of Tozzi v. DHHS Case: CRE Sees Major Implications for Data Quality Act
    Partners at Bergeson & Campbell, P.C., a D.C. law firm specializing in chemical, medical device, and diagnostic product approval and regulation, recently authored an article entitled "The Tozzi Decision: Another Arrow in Manufacturers' Quiver in Product Defense Wars." Although the article emphasized the importance of the court's decision for designations in the National Toxicology Program's Report on Carcinogens Program, CRE believes that it will have even greater significance for judicial review under the Data Quality Act. For example, the opinion provides precedent for standing when information disseminated by a federal agency is causing harm to a company or person to whom the information relates.

  • Click to read the Bergeson & Campbell article on Tozzi v. DHHS from the EPA Administrative Law Reporter
  • Click to submit a comment

    CRE to Emphasize Data Quality Research
    Although the Data Quality Act has to date be used primarily to address regulatory issues, the Center believes that the issue of Data Quality is significantly broader and that the Act will come to take on a more fundamental role in federal government operations and for organizations that interact with the government. Data Quality is a problem which must be addressed by all organizations, and the public and private sectors have been undertaking such efforts for a number of years. In support of such efforts, the Center will be cataloging key materials related to research on Data Quality.

  • Click to view materials related to Data Quality Research
  • Click to submit a comment

    Federal Data Quality Act: CRE Files Data Quality Guideline Development Guide with DOL
    CRE has provided the Department of Labor with a Working Draft white paper, Developing DOL's Data Quality Guidelines: A Step-by-Step Guide, designed to assist DOL in developing their Data Quality guidelines. A key issue discussed in the CRE guide is a discussion of the Department's duty to establish a standard for information reproducibility. CRE recommended that DOL's reproducibility standard include specific tests of robustness for all information subject to the reproducibility requirement to ensure that any and all test results are reliable.

  • Click to read CRE letter to DOL
  • Click to read CRE white paper
  • CRE Regulatory Services

    Data Quality Act: Guidelines Apply to Public Submissions to Agencies
    In remarks to the National Economists Club, OIRA Administrator Dr. John Graham said that Data Quality requirements apply to third-parties submitting information to federal agencies. Since the guidelines apply to virtually all information disseminated by agencies, Dr. Graham explained that trade associations and other third parties which submit information to the government intended for citation or other use, must ensure that their information complies with Data Quality standards. Federal contractors are also required to adhere to OMB's Data Quality requirements.

  • Click to read an excerpt from BNA's Daily Environment Report
  • Click to submit comment

  • Advancing the Goals of the Data Quality Act Cited in OMB Prompt Letter to EPA Requesting Improvements to TRI Program
    In a Prompt Letter to EPA, OIRA Administrator Dr. John Graham cited the Data Quality Act as the primary justification for a number of recommendations designed to enhance the practical utility of TRI data. The recommendations include establishing a single facility identification number for each reporting facility and speeding release of TRI data. EPA has 60 days to respond to the Prompt Letter.

  • Click to read OMB Press Release
  • Click to read OMB letter to EPA
  • Click to submit a comment

    Implementation of Data Quality Act Off to Timely Start: Federal Housing Finance Board, OFHEO and Surface Transportation Board are First Agencies to Issue Proposed Data Quality Guidelines
    CRE compliments the Federal Housing Finance Board (FHFB), Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) and the Surface Transportation Board (STB) for their early issuance of proposed Data Quality guidelines, in compliance with the Data Quality Act. CRE will post these agencies' guidelines in its Repository of "Data Quality Guidelines by Agency". The Center is in the process of reviewing the FHFB, OFHEO and STB guidelines and will submit public comments to the agencies.

  • Click to access CRE Repository of Data Quality Guidelines by Agency
  • Click to submit comment

  • CRE Compiles Database of Agency Data Quality Guidelines
    CRE believes that agency promulgation of well-reasoned Data Quality guidelines is critical to the successful implementation of the Data Quality Act. Therefore, as a service to its readers and in order to facilitate public input to agencies and they develop their guidelines, the Center, with assistance from Federal Focus, Inc., is cataloging proposed and final Data Quality guidelines and providing links to the relevant Federal Register cites. CRE encourages all interested parties to submit copies of their comments to agencies to CRE for posting on its website.

  • Click to view matrix of federal agency actions on Data Quality guidelines development
  • CRE Regulatory Services

    Executive Branch Officials Opine that Agency Denials of Data Quality Act Petitions are Judicially Reviewable
    During the March 21st NAS Data Quality Workshop, Executive Branch officials expressed their opinion that denials of agency petitions under the Data Quality Act will be judicially reviewable. While the views expressed do not necessarily represent those of their Departments, they expressed a viewpoint long held by CRE and other stakeholders. They went on to note, however, that there may be a difference between what constitutes an "affected person" who may bring a Data Quality petition and a litigant who would have standing to bring a court challenge. It was also noted that agencies will certainly rely upon the administrative record to defend their actions in denying an appeal during the informal adjudication phase so that a court does not later find these actions to be arbitrary and capricious.

  • Read more
  • CRE Regulatory Services

    American Bar Association to Host Meeting on Data Quality
    On Friday, April 19th, the ABA Section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice will hold a session on Data Quality. CRE believes that this meeting is timely, given the upcoming May 1st deadline for agencies to issue their proposed guidelines for Data Quality. CRE hopes that this will be only the first in a series of meetings held by the ABA on this important topic.

  • Click to review the agenda for the ABA meeting
  • Submit a comment to CRE

    CRE Submits Comments to EPA on the Agency's Data Quality Guidelines
    EPA, in a precedent-setting move, has requested public comments prior to proposing the agency's conforming Data Quality guidelines. CRE applauds this step designed to promote early public involvement and input, and urges other agencies to adopt this approach. CRE has taken this opportunity to address a number of issues which should be considered by other federal agencies in drafting Data Quality guidelines. CRE is making its comments available immediately so as to be useful in the context of the Data Quality Workshop being hosted by the National Academy of Sciences on March 21-22. CRE encourages all interested parties to submit their input on CRE's comments.

  • Read review CRE's comments to EPA on the agency's Data Quality guidelines.
  • Submit a comment to the EPA
  • Submit a comment to CRE
  • CRE Regulatory Services

    National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to Hold Workshop on Data Quality
    The NAS Program on Science, Technology and Law will be hosting the first in a series of workshops on March 21-22 as part of its project entitled "Ensuring the Quality of Information Disseminated by the Federal Government." The goal is to assist federal agencies in successfully implementing OMB's Data Quality guidelines, required under Pub. Law No. 106-554. The meeting is open to the public, and an agenda and registration materials are available on the NAS website. CRE encourages all interested parties to attend the workshop and to provide their views to the agencies as they implement this key Good Government law.

  • Read more, including Key Information and to register for the Data Quality workshop
  • Click to submit comment

  • EPA Exercises Leadership Role in Data Quality
    EPA has long been a leader in Data Quality. The Agency has set up a major operating unit which oversees the collection, dissemination, and quality of its data. Recently, EPA has completed the construction of a major installation in North Carolina dedicated to these information management functions. In keeping with both the Agency's emphasis on Data Quality as well as OMB's objective of public participation in the development of the guidelines, EPA will be conducting an Online Public Comment Session from March 19-22. EPA will provide instructions on how to provide public comment on their website on March 19.

  • Read EPA Federal Register notice (PDF 150KB)
  • CRE Regulatory Services

    Syngenta's Response To Cedar's Position On Metolachlor
    Syngenta has responded to CRE's posting of correspondence from Cedar on the metolachlor controversy at EPA. Syngenta's response rebuts each point made by Cedar. In particular, Syngenta explains that EPA's granting Cedar's registration application for old metolachlor would cause the unnecessary release into the environment of 17 to 22 million pounds of pesticide each year. Syngenta also correctly points out that granting Cedar's application would be the death knell for EPA's Reduced Risk Initiative.

  • Click for Syngenta's response
  • Click for CEDAR's Letter to CRE
  • Click for NRDC's Letter to EPA
  • Click to submit comment

  • NRDC Warns EPA Not To Jeopardize Its Reduced Risk Program For Pesticides
    The Natural Resources Defense Council has informed EPA that failure to cancel an old pesticide in lieu of a new more effective pesticide will seriously undermine its reduced risk initiative program. The pesticide in question is metolachlor. The manufacturer of the pesticide, Syngenta, states that millions of pounds of the pesticide will no longer be used if its old pesticide is canceled and its new pesticide S-metolachlor is allowed to go on the market. A potential manufacturer of the old pesticide, Cedar Chemical Corporation opposes the cancellation.

  • Click for NRDC's Letter to EPA
  • Click for CEDAR's Letter to CRE
  • Click to read Syngenta's response
  • CRE Regulatory Services

    CRE Requests Withdrawal Of The National Assessment On Climate Change On Federal Data Quality Act (FDQA) Grounds
    CRE has requested that the United States Global Change Research Program and the Office of Science and Technology withdraw the First National Assessment on Global Climate Change because it violates the objectivity, utility and reproducibility requirements of the Data Quality Act and OMB's guidelines implementing the Act. More specifically, the National Assessment violates the Act and OMB's guidelines.

  • Read CRE's request for withdrawal of the National Assessment
  • Comment on Item
  • View past CRE Regulatory Action of the Week items

    CRE Seeks Public Disclosure of EPA's Multi-Pollutant Air Emission Model
    EPA is using an ICF Model to predict the economic effects of multi-pollutant air emission legislation being considered by Congress and the Administration. These modeling results could have a major impact on both the legislation and the economy. Their accuracy and reproducibility are critically important. Yet EPA has not allowed public review of and comment on the Model. Given the importance of this issue, CRE has sent EPA's Chief Information Officer a letter urging her to disclose the Model to the public. CRE has also filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the Model and related documents.

  • Click for CRE's letter to EPA's Chief Information Officer
  • Click for CRE's FOIA request
  • Comment on Item

    CRE Assesses Agency Implementation of an Administrative Petition Process Under the OMB Data Quality Guidelines
    OMB recently published Data Quality guidelines for federal government information, which provide additional detail regarding the administrative petition process to be used to challenge agency information. CRE believes that the burdens associated with this correction mechanism will be minimal in light of the considerable experience which agencies already have with petition processes. For example, at EPA alone, CRE has documented 399 existing references to petition processes in the agency's regulations. Consequently, CRE believes that implementation of this key aspect of the Data Quality guidelines will cause minimal disruption of ongoing agency activities.

  • Click to read more, including CRE's analysis of petition processes at EPA
  • Click here to review OMB's final Data Quality Guidelines
  • Comment on Item
  • View past CRE Regulatory Action of the Week items

    OMB Issues Data Quality Guidelines Which Provide the Foundation for a Unified Federal Risk Assessment Program
    For more than two decades, the federal government has been attempting to establish guidelines for a consistent assessment of comparable risks across various agencies. OMB's recently promulgated Data Quality guidelines will go a long way in reducing such interagency differences. Inconsistencies will be narrowed, in part, because of the modifications made by OMB to its previously published interim Data Quality guidelines, based upon public comment. The Data Quality guidelines, coupled with OMB's regulatory review authorities set forth in Executive Order 12866, require that OMB review the risk assessments that underlie federal regulations to ensure both consistency across agencies and compliance with the guidelines.

  • Click here to review OMB's final Data Quality Guidelines
  • Read the history of the Federal Information Triangle.
  • Read the history of the Data Quality Act.
  • Comment on Item
  • View past CRE Regulatory Action of the Week items

    Federal Court Requires That Agency Risk Assessments Be Reproducible And Transparent
    In an important recent opinion, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California suspended rules issued by the Department of Agriculture in part because the risk assessment underlying the rules was not reproducible and transparent. Harlan Land Company v. Dept. of Agriculture, CV-00-6106 (Sept. 21, 2001).

  • Click to read more
  • Comment on Item
  • View past CRE Regulatory Action of the Week items

    D.C. Court Of Appeals Rules In Tozzi v. DHHS That When An Agency Issues A Pejorative Statement, The Statement Is Judicially Reviewable: Major Implications For The Federal Data Quality Act (FDQA)
    This case holds that a corporation can sue when an agency makes a pejorative statement against a corporation, product, or person, before such a statement is incorporated in a final rule. This opinion will have a major impact on the Data Quality Law because an agency denial of a petition for correction will be reinforced by the standing and reviewability criteria in this opinion. Notwithstanding the courts deference to an agency's interpretation of its own rules, the opinion sets a major precedent on both a government-wide basis and for EPA's upcoming dioxin reassessment in particular.

  • Read item
  • Read Bureau of National Affairs Article (pdf 264 kb)
  • Read Bergeson & Campbell article on Tozzi v. DHHS from the EPA Administrative Law Reporter
  • Read Tozzi v. DHHS
  • Comment on Item
  • View past CRE Regulatory Action of the Week items

    CRE Submits Comments on "Reproducibility" Standard in OMB's Data Quality Guidelines
    CRE submitted comments to OMB on the "capable of being substantially reproduced" standard included in the agency's final Data Quality guidelines. The reproducibility standard was issued on an interim final basis, and OMB accepted additional public comments on that key aspect of the guidelines through October 29, 2001. CRE strongly supports OMB's reproducibility requirement as a standard of care for governmental information. If information is not sufficiently robust that it cannot be reproduced by independent parties across testing environments, it should not be deemed adequately reliable for dissemination to the public. CRE urges OMB to retain this important aspect of the guidelines.

  • Read CRE's Comments to OMB
  • Read CRE's Supplemental Comments to OMB
  • Click to read more about the Data Quality Act and related issues
  • Comment on Item

    EPA Expresses Support for OMB Data Quality Guidelines
    EPA, already one of the leading agencies in terms of its process to ensure information quality, recently expressed its strong support for OMB's proposed Data Quality guidelines, that set government-wide standards for the quality of information disseminated to the public. In its comments to OMB, EPA's Office of the Inspector General stated that it "has reviewed the proposed guidelines and concurs. In our opinion, the guidelines will assist in maximizing data quality without being overly prescriptive or burdensome." EPA has demonstrated its commitment by its long history of working on information quality issues, and interested parties look forward to the agency's development of its conforming guidelines for Data Quality. CRE believes that EPA may be a model for other federal agencies as they seek to implement the provisions of the Data Quality law.

  • Comment on Item
  • View past CRE Regulatory Action of the Week items

    Nobel Prize Winners In Economics Demonstrate The Need For Data Quality Legislation
    The Washington Post reports that the award was based upon the economists conclusion " that government must play a strong role in a market system, to prevent damage from imperfect information". Clearly the Nobel prize committee recognized the regulatory paradigm of the new millennium, i.e. regulation by information. CRE is the institution that first coined the term "regulation by information" and so tailored it's proposal for the need for federal data quality legislation.

  • Comment on Item

    Risk Policy Report Publishes Article on the Federal Information Triangle
    Risk Policy Report, a preeminent publication in the field of risk analysis, has published an article on the Federal Information Triangle tracing its origins to the creation of OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and its attendant regulatory statutes, the Paperwork Reduction Act and the Data Quality Act. The Risk Policy Report is a publication of Inside Washington Publishers. (www.insideepa.com)

  • Click to read article.
  • Comment on Item

    CRE Catalogs All Comments Submitted to OMB on its Proposed Data Quality Guidelines
    CRE is a repository for information on the Data Quality law. Consequently, as a service to its readers, CRE has posted all of the nearly 100 public comments which OMB received related to the publication of its proposed Data Quality guidelines. The purpose of this section is to provide a forum for the important public policy discussion on this issue.

  • Read more and review public comments submitted to OMB on the Data Quality Guidelines.
  • Comment on Item

    OMB Promulgates Final Agency Guidelines on Data Quality
    OMB has met its statutory deadline to promulgate data quality guidelines. The issuance of these landmark guidelines completes a thirty year effort to construct the Federal Information Triangle: the establishment of a central regulatory review office in OMB (OIRA), the passage of the Paperwork Reduction Act which controls data coming into the government, and the Data Quality Act which controls data disseminated by the Federal government.

  • Read OMB Data Quality Guidelines.
  • Read the history of the Federal Information Triangle.
  • Comment on Item
  • View past CRE Regulatory Action of the Week items

    CRE Responds to Federal Times Article on Data Quality
    Federal Times, a preeminent publication for federal employees, reported that a number of its readers were concerned about the reproducibility provisions of the OMB's Data Quality guidelines as well as the impact these guidelines would have on peer review. CRE not only addressed these concerns in an Op-Ed piece to the Federal Times but had also given explicit considerations to those issues in its proposals for enactment of federal data quality legislation.

  • Click to read Op-Ed piece
  • Click to comment on the Article
  • Click to read CRE's comment's to OMB on Data Quality guidelines.
  • Click to review the Data Quality guidelines, as printed in the Federal Register.
  • Tozzi Statement Before The National Academies

    OMB to Complete Work on Data Quality Guidance.
    The public comment period on OMB's proposed Data Quality guidance closed on August 13, 2001. OMB has received in the neighborhood of 100 public comments. The very substantial number of public comments received signals the importance that the regulated community and the public accord to the forthcoming guidance. The Data Quality statute requires that OMB promulgate its final guidance no later than September 30, 2001. CRE will be issuing periodic reports on the comments submitted to OMB. CRE's comments emphasize the important role that the Chief Information Officer, or designated Ombudsman plays in this new program.

  • Click to see CRE's comments to OMB.
  • Comment on Item
  • View past CRE Regulatory Action of the Week items

    OMB Issues Landmark Guidelines on Data Quality for Federal Agencies
    Pursuant to statutory requirements enacted last year, OMB has issued proposed guidelines that set quality thresholds for information disseminated by the federal government. This congressional mandate for Data Quality was in response to federal agencies' growing use of the Internet and other communications mechanisms that permit dissemination of information that either expands existing regulations, is a precursor to new federal regulations, acts as an incentive for state and/or local authorities to regulate, or affects consumer perceptions. The 45-day public comment period on the proposed guidelines ends August 13, 2001. CRE commends OMB for the timely issuance of this important guidance.

  • Click here to review key components of OMB's proposed Data Quality guidelines.
  • Click to submit comment

  • CRE Petitions CIO on NIOSH Biosolids Hazard ID Document
    After receiving an unsatisfactory response to an earlier CRE letter raising data quality issues regarding HID 10 from NIOSH, CRE submitted a petition directly to the CDC and HHS Chief Information Officers alleging specific failures to comply with OMB Circular A-130 and invoking the "ombudsman" responsibilities of the CIOs under the Circular. CRE believes that this will be a useful test case for identifying specific requirements that should be included in the new rules being developed by OMB and individual agencies under the new data quality legislation.

  • Read CRE petition letter.
  • Comment on Item
  • View past CRE Regulatory Action of the Week items

    CRE Data Quality Petition to EPA on Global Climate Change
    CRE is concerned that EPA disseminates public documents (such as Federal Register notices and Internet Website pages) that lead readers to believe that we know as scientific fact that: (1) global climate change is occurring because of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases; and (2) the effects will include numerous specific adverse effects on human health and the environment. CRE petitioned EPA to correct a recent Federal Register notice, by publishing a notice alerting readers about the considerable scientific uncertainties surrounding the issue of global climate change. CRE also petitioned EPA to assure that all future EPA public documents that describe potential global climate change include a statement about scientific uncertainties.

  • Read CRE's petition to EPA.
  • Read EPA's Federal Register notice.
  • Comment on Item
  • View past CRE Regulatory Action of the Week items

    Letter from Congress Member Emerson to OMB Director
    Requesting feedback on CRE's Global Warming paper

    OMB Director's Response to Letter from Congress Member Emerson
    Providing feedback on CRE's Global Warming paper

    OMB Announces Schedule for Issuance of Data Quality Guidelines
    As part of the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions published in the May 14, 2000 Federal Register, OMB has provided a schedule for issuance of Data Quality guidelines, as required by H.R. 4577, the Treasury/General Government Appropriations Act of 2001 (contained in P.L. 106-554).

    OMB has announced that its proposed Data Quality guidance will be issued in the month of May, and its final guidance will be issued in September. CRE applauds OMB for meeting the timelines set forth in this important new Good Government statute. With issuance of this guidance, OMB will have put in place safeguards both on information collected by the federal government (governed under OMB Circular A-130) as well as information disseminated by the federal government (governed under the new Data Quality guidelines). These two instruments, along with the statutory authority granted to OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), constitutes a very important "Federal Information Triangle" for the orderly and efficient operation of the federal government.

  • Read OMB's listing for the Data Quality guidance contained in the Unified Agenda.
  • Comment on Item
  • View past CRE Regulatory Action of the Week items

    NIOSH Responds to CRE Data Quality Letter
    Acting CDC Director Dr. Larry Fine has responded, in a May 3 letter, to CRE's March 9 letter on data quality issues raised by a recent NIOSH Hazard ID on land application of biosolids. The CDC letter contends that NIOSH complied fully with OMB's Circular A-130 in issuing HID and offers to meet to discuss the matter. CRE is preparing a response.

  • Read the CDC letters.
  • Comment on Item

    OMB Watch Offers Views On CRE's Interpretation Of Data Quality Act
    In its April 30th Vol. 2 No. 9 issue, OMB Watch comments on a letter that CRE had written to the Editor. The CRE letter, and the OMB Watch response, can be accessed below. It appears that OMB Watch has several interpretations of the data quality statute which differ from those of CRE. First, CRE believes that OMB must define the terms set forth in the statute including quality, objectivity, integrity and utility; CRE also feels that each agency must write regulations which conform with those issued by OMB. CRE is interested in obtaining its readers' views on these matters.

  • Click here to view CRE letter to the Editor of OMB Watch.
  • Comment on Item

    The New York Times Reports the Federal Data Quality Act (FDQA) Might Delay the EPA Particulate Rule
    The New York Times reports that data quality legislation could delay issuance of the Particulate Rule. In a front page article on April 21st, 2001, the New York Times stated that the EPA has new conclusive evidence which supports the issuance of the rule on fine particulates. The article goes on to say, however, that they expect the issuance of the rule to be delayed because of the recently enacted data quality statute which will allow the Office of Management and Budget to review the underlying studies.
    "Tiny Bits of Soot Tied To Illnesses," The New York Times, April 21, 2001

  • Comment on Item

    The Majority Of EPA's Science Advisory Board Concludes That Dioxin Is Not A Known Human Carcinogen
    In a nine to seven vote the majority of the voting members of the EPA's Science Advisory Board voted in a public teleconference call on April 23rd not to designate dioxin as a known human carcinogen. In lieu of informing the public that a "majority" of the SAB voted not to designate dioxin as a known human carcinogen, the SAB intends to state that "about half" do not support the proposed designation. CRE objects to this mischaracterization by the Board. In the attached letter CRE has called this matter to the attention of the Executive Committee of the SAB. CRE invites its readers to inform the Executive Committee of this mischaracterization.

  • Click here to view the CRE letter
  • Click to send comments to SAB
  • CRE Uses NIOSH Hazard ID on Biosolids as Case Example of Issues That Should Be Addressed in New OMB and Agency Data Quality Rules, as Well as Under Existing OMB Guidance
    In July, NIOSH issued a Hazard alert (HID 10) concerning bacteria detected at a biosolids land application facility, and potential gastrointestinal sickness that might be associated with the presence of pathogens. NIOSH also recommended measures to mitigate the potential exposures. Controversy ensued concerning whether there was a sound basis for the alert and its recommendations, and the controversy has not yet been resolved. CRE has written to OMB and NIOSH, including its Chief Information Officer, to point out (a) the types of issues raised by the controversy that should be addressed in the data quality rules which OMB and agencies are now required to issue; and (b) existing OMB guidance on data quality which should be utilized in the interim to resolve this and similar data quality controversies.

  • View the CRE Letter
  • Click to submit comment
  • View past CRE Regulatory Action of the Week items

    EPA Responds Positively to CRE Suggestions on Greenhouse Gases
    EPA recently sent a letter to CRE responding to CRE's request that: (i) the agency deny the International Center for Technology Assessment (CTA) petition to regulate greenhouse gases, and (ii) make several changes to the agency's Global Warming Website. In the letter, EPA agreed to publish the CTA petition in the Federal Register for public comment prior to making a determination on the need for regulation, and the agency plans to implement some of CRE's recommended changes to the website. CRE looks forward to further cooperative engagement with EPA in order to advance Data Quality.

  • Click here to read EPA's letter to CRE (pdf format)
  • Click to submit comment

  • CRE Receives Comment Offering Different Perspective on Data Quality
    CRE and others interested in Data Quality have primarily focused on the need for accurate information to serve as the basis for federal regulation. However, in a comment submitted by Cargill Fertilizer, Inc., it was pointed out that data can sometimes be generated solely for the purpose of determining whether a regulatory limit has been reached. In such cases, achieving greater accuracy would be an unnecessary and costly exercise. While CRE agrees that pinpoint accuracy of scientific values in every situation may be unwarranted, Data Quality in the context of current congressional legislation focuses on federal agencies' information use and dissemination. The onus to correct inaccuracies would be on the agencies and would only be triggered where an interested party brings a petition, thereby presumably limiting instances of Data Quality challenge for mere academic benefit. However, CRE values this important perspective which should surely be kept in mind.

  • Click here to read the comment of Cargill Fertilizer, Inc.
  • Comment on Item

    CRE Announces Initiative for Applying Data Quality Law to the Financial Sector
    CRE considers the new Data Quality statute to be a "Good Government" law of wide scope and is emphasizing initial application to the federal Financial Sector. As a prototype case, CRE is focusing its Data Quality Initiative on the risk assessment being conducted by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) of the systemic risk posed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. CRE anticipates broadening the Data Quality Initiative to other agencies in the near future.

  • Click here to read more about the CRE Data Quality Initiative for the Financial Sector, its application to the OFHEO systemic risk assessment, and CRE's comments to OFHEO.
  • Click here to make a comment
  • OMB to Begin Implementing New Data Quality Law
    Important new Data Quality legislation was recently passed as part of the FY 2001 Consolidated Appropriations Act (Public Law 106-554 section 515). The law requires OMB by September 30, 2001, to develop government-wide standards for information quality as guidelines, including a correction mechanism. Other federal agencies must issue conforming guidelines based upon the OMB standard. CRE strongly supports the Data Quality law as an advancement of Good Government principles.

  • Click to read the Statutory Language of the Data Quality Law (Act)
  • Click to read more, including the Statutory Language of the Data Quality law
  • Comment on Item
  • President Signs Data Quality Legislation (Federal Data Quality Act (FDQA)) (Public Law 106-554 Section 515)
    The Congress has passed and the President has signed important new Data Quality legislation as part of the FY 2001 Consolidated Appropriations Act (Public Law 106-554). Building upon the Data Quality report language contained in the FY 1999 Omnibus Appropriations Act (P.L. 105-277), this new provision requires OMB to develop government-wide standards for the quality of information used and disseminated by the federal government, with such standards to be completed not later than September 30, 2001. OMB must also include a mechanism through which the interested public can petition agencies to correct information which does not meet the OMB standard. Congress has provided for broad input in developing the Data Quality standard, mandating that OMB shall seek "public and Federal agency involvement."
  • Click to read more, including the Statutory Language for Data Quality and Past Report Language



  • EPA Responds to CRE Letter Petitioning Agency to Initiate Data Quality Program
  • CRE letter (PDF 46KB)

  • Senate Report 106-161
  • Conf. Report 106-379
  • CRE Critique EPA (PDF 11KB)
        "Global Warming" site

  • EPA response to CRE (PDF 46KB)
  • Free Adobe plug-in
  • On May 2, 2000, CRE sent a letter to EPA petitioning the agency to initiate a Data Quality program for the correction of inaccurate data, particularly on the agency's website. The catalyst for the letter was another petition by the International Center for Technology Assessment (ICTA) for a rulemaking to limit emissions of "greenhouse gases" from motor vehicles pursuant to § 202 of the Clean Air Act. The ICTA request relied heavily on information posted on EPA's Global Warming Website, a source which CRE has already analyzed and determined to contain serious Data Quality problems.
    The CRE Petition to EPA
    The CRE petition asks EPA to undertake a rulemaking to establish procedures and criteria for correcting erroneous data, including that placed on the Global Warming Website. CRE also asked that the ICTA petition be held in abeyance until such time as these Data Quality procedures are vetted through public comment, finalized, and implemented by the agency. CRE's request was made pursuant to OMB Circular A-130 (Management of Federal Information Resources) and the Data Quality directives to EPA in report language adopted as part of the FY 2000 VA-HUD-Independent Agencies Appropriations Act (P.L. 106-74). These sources specifically provide:

    OMB Circular A-130

    9. Assignment of Responsibilities:

    a. All Federal Agencies. The head of each agency shall:

    . . . .


    10. Direct the senior official appointed pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 3506(a) to monitor agency compliance with the policies, procedures, and guidance in this Circular. Acting as an ombudsman, the senior official shall consider alleged instances of agency failure to comply with this Circular and recommend or take corrective action as appropriate. The senior official shall report annually, not later than February 1st of each year, to the Director those instances of alleged failure to comply with this Circular and their resolution.

    Senate Report No. 106-161
    "Second, EPA shall establish procedures to engage the public in the development, maintenance and modification of information products it offers to the public. These procedures should allow the public a timely opportunity to comment on all aspects of a new information product, including issues concerning data quality, analytical methodology, public presentation of data and the use of data for a purpose that differs from the original purpose for which it was collected. At a minimum, these procedures shall include the process EPA and the states will use to assure prompt correction of data errors in existing EPA Internet resources. These procedures shall also be consistent with EPA's obligations under the Paperwork Reduction Act."

    (Senate Report 106-161 at p. 81.)
    EPA's Response to CRE
    EPA responded to CRE in a July 26th letter, stating its position that a Data Quality rulemaking is not necessary because the Office of Environmental Information (OEI) is currently developing and implementing procedures to improve information quality consistent with the language contained in the Senate report. EPA points to the ongoing work of an EPA-State Action Team (done in cooperation with the Environmental Council of the States) which is designed to involve interested parties in the development of significant EPA and state information products. EPA also notes the initiation of an on-line error correction procedure for most existing EPA databases. (For a fuller description of the Data Quality corrective mechanisms espoused by EPA, click on the icon for the EPA correspondence below.)

    CRE's View of EPA's Data Quality Measures
    CRE has examined the EPA measures and believes that they meet OMB's and the agency's own requirements to ensure Data Quality. CRE encourages interested parties to review and utilize these measures put forth by EPA and to share your views/experiences with CRE.

    CRE Receives Comments on its Draft Data Quality Rule
    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and more recently as part of the FY 1999 Omnibus Appropriations Act (P.L. 105-277), Congress has asked OMB to issue government-wide standard for Data Quality which would:

    1. Define four key Data Quality terms (quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity)
    2. Set up an administrative mechanism whereby the interested public could seek agency correction of information which does not meet the OMB standard.

    Data Quality is a matter of extreme importance, especially in the Information Age, where government data can be posted on agency websites for worldwide distribution in a matter of minutes. Add to this the fact that government information often serves as the basis for federal regulations and other policies which can have a significant impact on businesses and the public, and the need for strong and consistent Data Quality standards for federal information becomes apparent.

    CRE developed its own draft Data Quality rule to provide a strawman for discussion as OMB seeks to craft its own Data Quality rule. We believe that the CRE draft rule demonstrates that it is possible to create a reasonable rule which will meet the Data Quality expectations of Congress without causing undue burden to the agencies. OMB can accomplish this by setting a reasonable standard for standing to bring a Data Quality petition. Also, an analysis of existing procedures at EPA showed that 143 different petition mechanisms already are in use at that agency alone, so a corrective mechanism for Data Quality is unlikely to be either novel or to cause an excessive additional burden to an agency.

    CRE appreciates the comments it has received on its draft Data Quality rule and urges others to provide their views. Public comments received can be accessed through the links provided below.

    Comments on the CRE Draft Data Quality Rule

    Background Information

    Congress Directs EPA to Assess Opportunities for Judicial Review of Agency Information
    Congress has recently directed EPA to undertake a number of information-related activities, as spelled out in report language accompanying the FY 2000 VA-HUD-Independent Agencies Appropriation Act (P.L. 106-74). Among these is a cooperative agreement to determine when judicial review should be allowed for government disseminations of information, in electronic or other formats. CRE believes that structured mechanisms for review of agency information increase the overall quality of data, thereby fostering public confidence in both EPA information and regulatory policy. CRE encourages EPA to act promptly to fulfill this important congressional mandate.

    OSHA Data Initiative Offers Opportunity to Enhance Data Quality
    OSHA recently announced in the Federal Register (65 Fed. Reg. 39944, June 28, 2000) an opportunity for the public to comment on its Data Initiative, which is designed to collect employer-specific data on injuries and illnesses in the workplace. Previously, OSHA data collection efforts had been industry-wide, and this aggregation of information tended to mask the experiences of individual employers.

    Rules for Ensuring the Quality of Data Disseminated by Federal Agencies
    Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President

    CRE Legislative Working Papers on Data Access and Data Quality
    CRE has been one of the initial proponents of federal legislation for Data Access and Data Quality, due to the important role that government information plays in regulation and resource allocation. Consequently, CRE developed an extensive set of legislative working papers in support of these key data provisions subsequently enacted by Congress. CRE's papers discuss the need for the legislation, key issues to be addressed, and an explanation of how responsibilities for Data Access and Data Quality have a basis under preexisting statutory authority.

  • Click here to review CRE's Legislative Working Papers on Data Quality

  • OMB Requests Comments on Circular A-130: A Potential Mechanism for Correction of Federal Government Information
    OMB recently published a public comment request in the Federal Register related to revisions to OMB Circular A-130 (Management of Federal Information Resources) to implement provisions of the Information Technology Management Reform Act of 1996 ( 65 Fed. Reg. 19933, April 13, 2000). As has been noted by OMB, Circular A-130 may also provide a mechanism for the public to seek correction of information used and disseminated by the federal government which is lacking in quality. CRE has submitted a comment to OMB seeking development of specific procedures under A-130 for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data. CRE urges interested persons to make their thoughts on this important issue known to OMB.

  • Click to review CRE's comments to OMB on Circular A-130.
  • OMB Provides Interim Mechanism for Implementing Data Quality Measures Recommended by Congress and CRE
    The Director of OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) responded to the earlier letter of Representative Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO) questioning OMB's progress on Data Quality rules recommended by Congress and the agency's position on the CRE draft Data Quality regulation. The letter notes that the interested public can currently petition for correction of information under OMB Circular A-130 (Management of Federal Information Resources). CRE applauds OMB's efforts to craft an interim solution to advance Data Quality while Congress continues to debate the merits of this important issue.

    EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
    OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET
    WASHINGTON, D.C. 20502

    ADMINISTRATOR
    OFFICE OF INFORMATION AND REGULATORY AFFAIRS

    April 18, 2000

    The Honorable Jo Ann Emerson
    US House of Representatives
    Washington, DC 20515

    Dear Representative Emerson:

    Thank you for your letter of March 20, in which you ask about the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) response to the language in the FY 1999 Omnibus Appropriations act conference report (House Report 105-592), which concerned the quality of information that Federal agencies disseminate to the public.

    OMB is committed to helping the Federal government provide the public with high quality information. We work with the agencies in several ways to improve the quality of such information. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act, we review information collection proposals to ensure that they have maximum "practical utility." We coordinate and review the development and use of federal statistics. OMB Circular A-130 describes the best practice that agencies should follow to collect and use timely and appropriate information. It also establishes the criteria for agency budget requests to ensure that proposed information management investments are appropriate, efficient, and effective.

    The FY 1999 House Report language urged OMB to establish government-wide rules for ensuring the quality of federally-disseminated information. We appreciate the need for ensuring such quality and are sensitive to the possibility that OMB Circular A-130 might need to be updated or supplemented to deal with concerns in this area. OMB Circular A-130 already establishes complaint resolution procedures for perceived violations of data quality and other requirements in the Circular. Section 9(a)10 of the Circular contains a requirement that each agency CIO must:

    "Monitor agency compliance with the policies, procedures, and guidance in this Circular. Acting as an ombudsman, the [CIO] shall consider alleged instances of agency failure to comply with this Circular and recommend or take corrective action as appropriate."

    The Circular also contains a specific requirement for agencies to report to OMB any alleged violations and their resolution:

    "The [CIO] shall report annually, not later than February 1st of each year, to the Director those instances of alleged failure to comply with this Circular and their resolution." Last summer, OMB canvassed the agency Chief Information Officers (CIOs) about data quality. They indicated to us that they have not been hearing complaints about the quality of federally-disseminated information. None expressed a need for further guidance in this area. Based on our canvass of the CIOs and OMB's own experience, there does not currently appear to be a significant problem in this area. We are monitoring CIO activities and will be alert to any widespread complaints about publicly-disseminated information.

    At the present time, OMB is not convinced that new "one-size-fits-all" rules will add much to the existing OMB guidance and oversight activity and the procedures followed by individual agencies. We are reluctant to issue more regulations without a clear sense that they would be useful in promoting data quality. We are also concerned that new regulations might prove counterproductive to the goal of increasing data quality. The Report suggests that agencies be required to establish a new "petition" process under which persons could file formal "complaints" over the quality of information. These administrative requirements could consume significant agency resources. An adversarial petition process also might discourage the type of free and open dialogue between the agency and the public that is crucial for identifying and addressing data quality issues.

    We also note that the House Report suggests that any new regulations extend not only to Federal agencies, but also to non-Federal entities that disseminate information with Federal financial support, such as contractors, State and local governments, and no-profit grantees. This might leads to new unfunded Federal mandates and an intrusion into how non-Federal entities communicate with the public on public matters.

    We are very much interested in exploring other ways to improve data quality. We believe it important to have interagency cooperation in this regard and to enlist the public in an ongoing dialogue aimed at improving such quality. Data quality is one of many considerations of agency information management activity. In that regard, we are launching this month an initiative to work with select agencies (HCFA, EPA, DOT, HHS, OSHA, IRS, and SBA) and the public on how we can collect information more effectively, with improved efficiency and data quality. We expect these discussions to identify agency best information management practices as well as recommendations for improving specific information collection and management activities.

    We appreciate your strong interest in information quality and would welcome any further thoughts you might have on this subject.

    Sincerely,

    John T. Spotila
    Administrator

    OMB Hosts Meeting as Part of New Data Quality Initiative
    On April 27-28th, OMB convened its first Federal Agency "Roundtables" on "Collecting Information in the Information Age." The meeting, hosted by OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), was part of a new initiative on improving the effectiveness and efficiency of federal information collection. The initiative will focus on improving the quality of the information the government collects, while minimizing the collection burden, particularly through the use of information technology. The six agencies participating in the meeting were: IRS, HCFA, OSHA, EPA, USDA, and the Student Financial Assistance Office (Department of Education). OMB also published a Federal Register notice inviting public comments on this initiative, see 65 FR 25004, April 28, 2000 (link included in CRE report, below).

  • Click here to review a report on the first meeting of the OMB Data Quality Initiative.

    House Initiates Action on Data Quality
    Based upon the recommendations of CRE, the House incorporated a Data Quality provision in the report accompanying the FY 1999 Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act (H.R. 4104) that urged OMB to develop policy and procedural guidance to federal agencies in order to ensure and maximize the "quality," "objectivity," "utility," and "integrity" of information which the federal government disseminates to the pubic. The Senate followed the House's lead, and relevant language was included in the conference report to Pub. Law No. 105-277. The House later included nearly identical mandatory language in the FY 2001 Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act (H.R. 5658) which statutorily directs OMB to issue guidelines for Data Quality, and this provision has been incorporated into the FY 2001 Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 4577). CRE anticipates passage of this important provision that will set government-wide standards for information quality, including opportunity to petition agencies for correction of information that does not meet such standards.

  • Click here to read more, including the Data Quality language from the FY 1999 House bill and Conference Report, the FY 2001 House bill and Conference Report, as well as CRE's Legislative Working Papers on Data Access and Data Quality.

    CRE Comments on Data Quality

    CRE Petitions EPA to Modify EPA's Global Warming Website to Correct the Misleading and Incorrect Presentation of Information to the Public

    CRE Explains Why EPA Must Deny and Dismiss the Pending Petition for Rulemaking Submitted by the International Center for Technology Assessment, to Regulate "Greenhouse Gases" from Motor Vehicles

    Representative Emerson Issues Letter Asking OMB for Update on Data Quality Regulations and a Response to the CRE Draft Data Quality Rule
    In a March 20th letter, Representative Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO) asked John Spotila, Director of OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, for an update on its progress in issuing Data Quality regulations. In House Report 105-592, incorporated as part of the FY 1999 Omnibus Appropriations Act (P.L. 105-277), Congress had urged OMB develop a rule which would define quality standards for government information and to create a petition mechanism for the public to seek correction of information which does not meet the OMB standards. Such regulations were to be issued by September 30, 1999, but to date, OMB has taken no action thereon. OMB was also asked for its reaction to the CRE draft Data Quality regulation.

    In the letter, Rep. Emerson promised to raise these issues at the March 28th hearing of the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Treasury, Postal Service, and General Government, which dealt with OMB’s FY 2001 appropriations request. At that hearing, Rep. Emerson questioned OMB Director Jacob Lew on the points raised in the letter.

    Director Lew responded that Congress had only urged, but not required, OMB to issue Data Quality regulations, and while OMB shares the Committee’s concerns about the quality of government information, the agency is unsure about the mechanism suggested by Congress and its potential to create a new legal right of action which could drain agencies’ resources. Mr. Lew added that he would respond to the Congresswoman in writing.
    Click here to view the letter sent by Rep. Emerson to OMB.
    Click here to review the CRE draft Data Quality regulation.

    CRE Proposes Draft Data Quality Regulation
    Pursuant to the FY 1999 Omnibus Appropriations Act, Congress directed OMB to develop a regulation to ensure the "Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity" of information used or disseminated by the federal government. The rule shall include a public petition process for correction of agency information which does not meet the standards laid out in the OMB rule. To date, OMB has taken no action on the regulation.
    CRE has developed its own draft Data Quality regulation to assist OMB in meeting its mandate from Congress. CRE invites public comment on the proposed regulation, which will be considered in drafting the final version to be shared with OMB.

    Strategy for Implementing Data Quality Objectives
    Planned Project Work Activities

    CRE comments to EPA on its March 22, 1999 memorandum to Administrator

    Case Study: How OMB Data Quality Regulations Will Help Resolve Disputes Over Global Warming


    Correspondence on Data Quality

    EPA Responds to CRE Interactive Public Docket Comment on Data Quality
    Agency defends its peer review practices against D.C. lawyer's criticism that EPA uses contractors to avoid FACA openness requirements.

    Letter from Congress Member Emerson to OMB Director
    Requesting feedback on CRE's Global Warming paper

    OMB Director's Response to Letter from Congress Member Emerson
    Providing feedback on CRE's Global Warming paper

    Letter from Congress Member Bliley to OMB Director
    Requesting information on OMB's Data Quality procedures

    Letter from CRE to Congress Member Bliley
    Requesting review of production of 9th Report on Carcinogens


    Other Federal Agency Developments Related to Data Quality

    Memorandum from Administrator Browner on the Information Integration Initiative
    Announcement of Information Integration Initiative for the integration and management of environmental information.