HHS Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Information Disseminated to the Public. IV. Agency Quality Assurance Policies, Standards, and Processes for Ensuring the Quality of Information Disseminated to the Public


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

The general standard for information disseminated by OPHS offices is the best available public health and science information. Best available is determined by information published in the highest quality peer-reviewed journals, comparison with best practices as established by the relevant discipline, and reviews by expert panels, individual subject experts, external Advisory Committees, Coordinating Committees with subject experts from HHS agencies, Steering Committees, and staff review.  OPHS reviews the quality (including the objectivity, utility, and integrity) of information before it is disseminated and treats information quality as integral to every step of the development of information, including its creation, collection, maintenance and dissemination. For consumer and professional educational materials, appropriateness of the materials for the intended users is a special focus. Appropriateness is determined through staff review, focus groups, user surveys, audience testing, and dissemination of information and materials for public comment. Depending on the subject matter, disseminated information may also be subject to review by legal staff.

Further, staff strives to collect updated, timely information and remain aware of emerging and newly developed data.  In addition, staff is committed to demonstrating in the Paper Reduction Act (PRA) clearance packages that each draft information collection will result in information that will be collected, maintained, and used in a way that is consistent with OMB, HHS and OPHS information quality guidelines.