The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued government-wide information quality guidelines in accordance with Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001.1 The purpose of these guidelines is to ensure and maximize the quality, utility, objectivity, and integrity of information disseminated by Federal agencies. The guidelines direct each Federal agency to issue its own Section 515 guidelines. As part of the Department of Labor (DOL), the Administrative Review Board (ARB), Benefits Review Board (BRB), and Employees' Compensation Appeals Board (ECAB), hereafter referred to collectively as The Boards', and The Boards' administrative proponent, The Office of Adjudicatory Services (OAS), follow DOL's information quality guidelines, as well as the OMB guidelines.
Information Quality Assurance Process
The Boards have adopted well-established quality assurance techniques to ensure the quality of information disseminated. Information is subject to internal board quality control and audit, and any appropriate DOL level reviews, before being disseminated to the public. When The Boards post information on their websites, they adhere to internal review to assure information posted is cleared for official release and free of erroneous data or of marginal quality.
How to submit an information quality correction request to OAS/The Boards:
Persons who believe that The Boards have disseminated information that does not meet its internal guidelines or those of the DOL or OMB, and who wish to file a formal complaint, may do so by sending their complaint to the Executive Director of the Office of Adjudicatory Services. Notification may be by mail (address is: OAS, ATTN: Executive Director, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room N-1519, Washington, DC 20210) or by e-mail (OAS Information Quality).
Persons filing a complaint related to the quality of information disseminated by The Boards should include the following information:
- Identify themselves and indicate where and how they may be reached;
- Identify as specifically as possible the information in question;
- Indicate how they are affected by the information about which they are complaining;
- Carefully describe the nature of the complaint, including an explanation of why they believe the information does not comply with Office of Management and Budget (OMB), DOL, or Board internal guidelines; and
- Describe the change requested and the reason why the Board(s) should make the change.
Exclusion of the above information may result in a complainant not receiving an adequate response to the complaint or greatly reduce the usefulness or timeliness of any response. Complainants should be aware that they bear the burden of establishing that they are affected persons and showing the need and justification for the correction they are seeking, including why the information being complained about does not comply with applicable guidelines.
How to make an administrative appeal:
If a complainant is dissatisfied with the initial response to a complaint, he or she may submit an appeal. A complainant may appeal within 45 calendar days of the date the agency notified them how it would handle the complaint or 105 calendar days from the date on which the agency first received the complaint, whichever is later. The appeal request should contain the same contact and descriptive information that was provided in the original complaint and the specific reasons why the initial agency response was not satisfactory. OAS will notify the affected person once an appeal decision has been rendered.
These guidelines do not apply to the following:
- Information intended to be limited to distribution to government employees, or DOL contractors, or grantees;
- Government information intended to be limited to intra- or inter-agency use or sharing of information, such as strategic plans, performance plans, program reports, operating plans, or budgets;
- Responses to requests for Departmental records under the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, the Federal Advisory Committee Act, or other similar laws;
- Correspondence or other communications with individuals or organizations;
- Press releases (except where the press release itself is the primary source of the information);
- Congressional testimony;
- Archival records;
- Public filings;
- Subpoenas or adjudicative processes;
- Information clearly represented as opinion and not an official agency or Departmental representation;
- Policy guidance recommendations or statements or summaries of agency policies, procedures, or programs;
- Statements of legal policy or interpretation; and
- Final agency decisions, settlements in litigation and descriptions of these settlements, or determinations of legal force and effect, such as wage determinations.
1. Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Information Disseminated by Federal Agencies; Republication, 67 Fed. Reg. 8451 (Feb. 22, 2002).