OIRA Emphasizes Importance of Information (Data) Quality in Report to Congress
OIRA 2015 Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulations and Agency Compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act contains an extensive discussion of the Data Quality Act. OIRA’s Report to Congress is thus a major improvement over the draft report which did not discuss the DQA. In addition to reporting on Requests for Correction and litigation seeking judicial review of agency DQA decisions, the OIRA Report emphasizes the Administration’s “Continuing Commitment to Information Quality” particularly with respect to science data.
Consistent with our efforts to ensure the quality of information on which public policy is based, OMB will continue to work with executive departments and agencies to ensure that they have in place comprehensive processes for pre-dissemination review of information quality, including the independent peer review of scientific information. We note that such efforts may be especially important in agencies where staff turnover may have affected agency familiarity with the types of internal processes necessary to implement the IQ Guidelines and the Peer Review Bulletin.
OIRA also discussed the importance of agency compliance with OIRA’s Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review. The report places particular importance on the need for agency transparency in peer review planning and execution,
The Peer Review Bulletin provides two mechanisms for monitoring the progress of the agencies in meeting these peer-review requirements: a transparent peer review planning process and annual reporting, described below.
The good science and good government requirements of the Peer Review Bulletin should assist in improving the accuracy and transparency of agency science. Additionally, the peer review planning process described in the Peer Review Bulletin, which includes posting of plans on agency websites, enhances the ability of the government and the public to track influential scientific disseminations made by agencies.