HHS Information Quality Peer Review


This site describes the HHS Peer Review Agenda and the policies and procedures that HHS employs to conduct peer review of influential scientific information and highly influential scientific assessments that HHS disseminates to the public. The HHS Peer Review policies were developed in accordance with the OMB "Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review" issued on December 16, 2004 at Information Quality Government-wide Initiatives. Overall, the goal of the OMB Bulletin is to enhance the quality and credibility of the government's scientific information by establishing requirements that federal agencies conduct a peer review on all influential scientific information that they disseminate.

HHS shares the goal of assuring that the best available scientific and technical information is used to support regulatory and programmatic decision making. HHS makes use of different types of peer review throughout the agency to inform decisions ranging from selecting meritorious scientific research proposals and assessing the quality and productivity of intramural research programs to reviewing scientific information in the development of policies for research, clinical practice, and public health. HHS peer review policies and processes have been designed to meet the highest standards of integrity, objectivity, fairness, and rigor.

I. Effective Dates

a. Information Dissemination Date

The OMB Bulletin requirements are effective for agency influential scientific information or highly influential scientific assessments first disseminated on or after June 16, 2005. Influential scientific information and highly influential scientific assessments disseminated before that date are not subject to the Bulletin.

If HHS has already begun the peer review process by providing draft influential scientific information or a draft highly influential scientific assessment and the associated charge to reviewers before June 16th, the Bulletin requirements do not apply to the agency's later dissemination of that information.

b. Peer Review Agenda Dates

For peer review agenda setting, the OMB Bulletin establishes two effective dates. By June 16, 2005, HHS will start posting an agenda for peer review plans for highly influential scientific assessments. By December 16, 2005, HHS will start posting an agenda for peer review plans for influential scientific information as well as an update of its agenda for peer review plans for highly influential scientific assessments.

II. Peer Review Planning

Systematic peer review planning enhances the quality and credibility of major agency decisions. As part of the agency's systematic planning process, HHS will post a web-based peer review agenda and update the agenda at least every six months.

a. Agenda Information

The agenda describes all the planned agency peer reviews for influential scientific information and highly influential scientific assessments that are subject to the OMB Bulletin. For each agency peer review that is listed, the agenda will contain key information as it becomes available including the preliminary title, subject and purpose of the planned report; the HHS operating division and office conducting the review and the name of the agency contact person; the peer review schedule; the use of a letter review, panel review or other mechanism; and the opportunities for public comment, if any are planned.

b. Agenda Coverage

The current HHS agenda lists peer review plans for the FDA in attachments, NTP/NIH, CDC, OASH and OASH Peer Review Agenda.

Public Comment Period for HHS Peer Review Agenda

HHS invites submission of written comments on the June 16, 2016 HHS Peer Review Agenda. Comments should be received by July 18, 2016. Persons submitting comments should include their name, affiliation, mailing address, and sponsoring organization (if any). Written comments should be sent to aspe.infoquality@hhs.gov

c. Agenda Links

The HHS Peer Review Agenda links to USA.gov. Further, each listed HHS peer review agenda dissemination will link to relevant peer review documents, as they become available.