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 SAMHSA


  1. Overview

    SAMSHA will ensure that disseminated information meets the standards of quality set forth in the OMB, HHS and SAMSHA guidelines. It is SAMSHA’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 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.

    They apply to information in all media - printed, electronic, audiovisual, verbal, and other. The Guidelines focus primarily on the dissemination of substantive information (i.e., reports, studies, summaries) rather than on the information pertaining to basic agency operations. Information that is disseminated at the request of SAMHSA or with specific SAMHSA approval through a contract or grant is subject to these Guidelines.

  2. Covered Information

    Scientific research papers, books, journal articles, and similar materials unless they have disclaimers alerting the audience that they do not represent official views of SAMHSA;

    Other official reports, brochures, documents, newsletters, electronic documents, and audiovisual productions (i.e., a unified presentation, developed according to a plan or script, containing visual imagery, sound, or both, and used to convey information);

    Oral or written information, including speeches, interviews, expert opinions, if representing SAMHSA's official positions, views, or policies;

    Statistical information, including statistical analyses, aggregated information by program, Center or Office, or for SAMHSA as a whole, including funding information and histories (by funding mechanism, dollars, and/or other criteria);

  3. Information Not Covered

    1. Documents not authored by the agency and not representing agency's views, including information authored and distributed by SAMHSA grantees1
    2. Information that is limited in dissemination to Government employees or agency contractors or grantees;
    3. Information pertaining to basic agency operations, e.g., information about agency authorities, activities, programs, along with contact information for the public, organizational charts, SAMHSA or Center Directors' Status Reports, solicitations (for grants or contracts), receipt and review materials (e.g., summary statements, information for advisory councils or advisory committee members);
    4. Information intended solely for intra-or inter-agency use or sharing of Government information;
    5. Responses to requests for agency records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Privacy Act, the Federal Advisory Committee Act, or other similar laws;
    6. Information relating solely to correspondence with individuals or persons;
    7. Press releases that support the announcement or give public notice of information that SAMSHA has disseminated elsewhere.
    8. Information for public filings, subpoenas, or adjudicative processes;
    9. Opinions where the agency's presentation makes it clear that what is being offered is personal opinion rather than fact or the agency's views.