CRS report on DQA

October 8th, 2004

Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr.

The Congressional Research Service has a new report out on the Data Quality Act (or as the CRS calls it the Information Quality Act (IQA). The report includes the following ‘Concluding Observations”:

“The determination of whether agencies’ actions are subject to judicial review under the IQA will clearly have a major effect on the act’s implementation. However, even in the absence of judicial review, the IQA can still have a significant impact on federal agencies and their information dissemination activities. OMB’s report on the implementation of the act during FY2003 provided numerous examples of agencies changing their policies and publications in response to administrative requests for correction from affected parties. Those administratively driven policy changes have continued after the one-year period covered by OMB’s report. For example, shortly after the June 2004 court case and DOJ brief, the National Institute on Aging within the National Institutes of Health reportedly agreed to revise its website and printed publications, eliminating statements indicating that smokeless tobacco products are no less safe than cigarettes. The change was reportedly a direct result of an IQA correction request filed by the National Legal and Policy Center. The IQA may also be having an effect on information dissemination in the states. The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness has reportedly drafted and promoted a model state version of the act that is derived from the federal legislation and the OMB guidelines. The State of Wisconsin has adopted data quality legislation, and other states are reportedly planning to do so.”

The report also suggests a number of “Possible Improvements and Modifications.”

For anyone interested in the role of information in decision making in federal agencies, the report is an excellent summary of where things stand in the experiment that is the DQA.

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