HHS Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Information Disseminated to the Public. II. Scope and Applicability of Guidelines for Agency


AHRQ will ensure that disseminated information meets the standards of quality set forth in the OMB, HHS and AHRQ guidelines. It is AHRQ's goal to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information that it disseminates to the public. AHRQ strives to provide information that is accurate, reliable, clear, complete, unbiased, and useful. It is committed to integrating the principle of information quality into every phase of information development, including creation, collection, maintenance, and dissemination.

The pre-dissemination review described in the guidelines only applies to information disseminated on or after October 1, 2002. The administrative mechanism for correction applies to information that the agency disseminates on or after October 1, 2002, regardless of when the agency first disseminated the information.  The guidelines apply to information in all media (e.g., print, electronic) and apply primarily to the dissemination of substantive information (e.g., reports, studies, and summaries relating to the findings and related products of AHRQ research) rather than on information pertaining to basic Agency operations not intended for public dissemination.

Many AHRQ activities result in publicly disseminated information that is subject to the OMB Guidelines including:

  • Statistical information and databases
  • Results of research projects
  • Program evaluations
  • Software tools
  • Consumer and professional health information

The following types of information produced by the Agency are not covered: scientific information produced by extramural researchers who conduct and disseminate their own work in the same manner as their academic colleagues and whose views do not represent the views of the Agency; information in which the results are identified as not being Agency views or positions; archival information; information intended soley for intra-or-interagency use or sharing of government information; press releases that support the announcement or give public notice of information that AHRQ has disseminated elsewhere; correspondence with individuals; responses to requests for Agency records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA); public filings; subpoenas; and the findings and determinations that AHRQ makes in the course of adjudications  involving specific parties.