[Federal Register Volume 67, Number 192 (Thursday, October 3, 2002)]
[Pages 62043-62044]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 02-25105]



Information Quality Guidelines

AGENCY: Office of the Chief Information Officer, Department of 

ACTION: Notice of availability--Final information quality guidelines.


SUMMARY: This Notice of Availability informs the public that the 
Department of Education (Department) has issued information quality 
guidelines, which are available to the public through the Internet as 
further described in this notice.

DATES: The information quality guidelines are applicable to information 
the Department disseminates on or after October 1, 2002.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For a Copy of the Guidelines and 
Further Information: The guidelines are available through the Internet 
at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/offices/OCIO/info_quality/. 
Agency specific Guidelines for the National Center for Education 
Statistics are available at the following site: http://nces.ed.gov/statprog/pdf/2002standards.pdf. Alternatively, you may contact Veena 
Bhatia, U.S. Department of Education, 7th and D Streets, SW., room 
4036, Washington, DC 20202-4651. Telephone: (202) 708-9279.

[[Page 62044]]

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may 
call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an 
alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) on request to the contact person listed under For a Copy of 
the Guidelines and Further Information.



    Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations 
Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Public Law 106-554) requires all Federal 
agencies covered by the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), 
including the Department of Education, to issue guidelines by October 
1, 2002, for the purpose of ``ensuring and maximizing the quality, 
objectivity, utility, and integrity of information (including 
statistical information) disseminated by the agency.'' (Public Law 106-
554). The agency guidelines must be consistent with government-wide 
guidelines published by the Office of Management and Budget (66 FR 
49718, September 28, 2001; 67 FR 8452, February 22, 2002) and must 
include ``administrative mechanisms allowing affected persons to seek 
and obtain correction of information'' that the agency maintains and 
disseminates, and that does not comply with the OMB or agency 
    On May 1, 2002, the Department published in the Federal Register 
(67 FR 21641) a request for public comments on the Department's draft 
information quality guidelines. On June 11, 2002, the Department 
published in the Federal Register (67 FR 39962) a notice reopening and 
extending the public comment period. The Department received four sets 
of public comments on the guidelines. Three sets of comments were 
general suggestions that were addressed to all agencies and did not 
specifically address the Department's guidelines, e.g., suggestions for 
how to define terms, set deadlines for review, and establish a 
correction and appeal process. These comments were considered and, 
where appropriate, suggested changes have been incorporated into the 
final guidelines.
    The Department did receive one set of comments specifically on its 
guidelines. That commenter suggested that the Department should: (1) 
Categorize the types of data the Department would consider as 
``influential information''; (2) provide more detailed guidance to the 
program offices with respect to the level of correction and the 
corresponding action to be taken; and (3) only decide not to process a 
request for correction if it is made in bad faith.
    With respect to the first suggestion, the final guidelines include 
an expanded definition of influential information and examples of some 
of the types of data that would fall into this category. With respect 
to the second suggestion, the Department has not made any changes in 
the final guidelines; the Department believes that the appropriate 
program office will exercise good judgment in determining whether a 
correction is necessary and, if so, what that correction should be. In 
addition, the ability of the requester to appeal to the Chief 
Information Officer for an impartial review that is conducted by 
parties other than those who prepared the Department's initial decision 
serves as an opportunity for the Department to reconsider whether the 
initial decision was appropriate. Finally, with respect to the third 
suggestion, the Department has revised the final guidelines to state 
that the Department ``may reject a request that appears to be made in 
bad faith or without justification, and is only required to undertake 
the degree of correction that it concludes is appropriate for the 
nature and timeliness of the information involved. In addition, the 
Department need not respond substantively to requests that concern 
information not covered by the information quality guidelines.''
    In addition, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) 
received substantive comments on its standard for Maintaining 
Confidentiality. In response to those comments, NCES expanded the 
discussion of laws in the standard and clarified the language required 
for a confidentiality pledge.

Electronic Access to This Document

    You may view this document, as well as all other Department of 
Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe 
Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at the following site: 
    To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available 
free at this site. If you have questions about using PDF, call the U.S. 
Government Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in 
the Washington, DC, area at (202) 512-1530.

    Note: The official version of this document is the document 
published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the 
official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal 
Regulations is available on GPO Access at: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/index.html.

    Dated: September 27, 2002.
Craig B. Luigart,
Chief Information Officer.
[FR Doc. 02-25105 Filed 9-30-02; 10:40 am]