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 Office


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

The OMB Information Quality Guidelines require OIG to evaluate and identify the types of OIG information that will be subject to the Guidelines. The pre-dissemination reviewed 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. This section identifies the types of information covered, and also lists the types of information that are exempt.

  1. Covered Information

    OIG reports prepared for use by Department officials formulating broad program policies which are not subject to review by the affected individual(s) or entity prior to public dissemination.

    Editorials or Open Letters to the public representing position or view of the agency.

  2. Information Not Covered

    Documents that are summary in nature and where the source documents are already covered under the Guidelines, this would include the Semiannual Report, the Orange Book and the Red Book.

    Planning documents that represent future work which has not been completed. This includes the annual OIG Work Plan.

    Findings and determinations or agreements made in the course of adjudication. This includes the List of Excluded Individuals and Entities and Corporate Integrity Agreements. Affected parties are subject to and/or can contest exclusion decisions through an adjudicatory process.

    Proprietary information owned by another agency, which the Department does not have authority to release to outside sources, such as the Annual Report of the State Medicaid Fraud Control Units.

    Documents where the subject individual or entity is already afforded an opportunity to comment on the accuracy of the information to ensure a fair, objective and complete report, this includes most Audit reports.

    Advisory Opinions, which are requested of the OIG and are binding only on the requestor.

    The guidelines do not apply to press releases that support the announcement or give public notice of information that OIG has disseminated elsewhere.

    Documents which comply with the Federal Register standards for public notices. This includes Fraud Alerts, Special Advisory Bulletins and Safe Harbor Regulations, which are published in the Federal Register. As such, the public is accorded the administrative procedures for public notices and afforded the opportunity to comment. The safe harbors also are excluded because they serve as OIG policy.

    Guidance issued by the OIG where compliance is voluntary such as those issued under the Compliance Guidance Program. The compliance guidance is based on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations and guidelines, any requirements imposed in corporate integrity agreements negotiated by the OIG and input from the affected industry, thus there is an established quality control process through input from the affected entities.

    Information or documents explicitly excluded by the Quality Control Guidelines such as press releases, public filings, subpoenas, or adjudicative processes.

    Procedural and policy manuals that are produced primarily for internal use.