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/Office


Types of Information Disseminated by the Agency to the Public

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 purpose of these Guidelines is to provide guidance to OPHS offices about administrative procedures to ensure the quality of information they disseminate to the public.  The Guidelines also provide guidance to the public about how to file a complaint about the quality of the substantive information disseminated by OPHS offices and how OPHS offices should respond to public complaints.   The Guidelines apply to substantive information disseminated by OPHS offices and representing OPHS/HHS views.   Substantive information includes consumer and professional education materials, scientific and technical reports, policy and program recommendations, research findings from sponsored grants that include a dissemination component, and public speeches representing official HHS policy.   The Guidelines do not apply to information that is labeled with a disclaimer as not representing agency views, intra- or inter- agency information, regulations, compliance oversight reports, grant and program announcements, or information describing basic agency operations.

OPHS offices disseminate a variety of public health and science information to the public. The primary types of information disseminated are consumer and professional education and scientific and technical reports. Information disseminated by OPHS is based on science, derived from state of the art knowledge, and peer-reviewed by experts inside and outside government, depending on the nature of the information.

For example, the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion disseminates information about national disease prevention and health promotion goals and objectives such as the Healthy People 2010 document published in November 2000. The Office on Women's Health disseminates consumer education about women's health issues in the form of pocket planners, annual daybooks, and fact sheets such as the 2002 Women's Health Daybook Living Long, Living Well. The Office of Minority Health disseminates information on minority health issues through two nationally distributed newsletters. The Office of the Surgeon General disseminates information on high priority national public health issues in the form of Surgeon General Reports, Calls to Action and National Strategies such as the Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity 2001.