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


From their inception, research and evaluation projects and any other information developmental efforts  that are undertaken by ASPE are subjected to a quality assurance process. Further, ASPE reviews the quality (including the objectivity, utility, and integrity) of information before it’s disseminated and treats information quality as integral to every step of the development of information, including its creation, collection, maintenance and dissemination. Each project is developed with the knowledge that the purpose, proposed methodology and work plan will have to be defended before a peer review panel. The members of the panel are appointed for at least a year at a time and are technically qualified by their professional training and experience. The process for conducting this peer review has been established for many years and refined as circumstances have changed. Requests for changes in the design of proposed projects are not infrequent. Projects are not approved for funding until the peer review panel is satisfied that the project design and work plan have a reasonable expectation of providing a useful product. All projects involving original large scale data collected from the public undergo an exacting, rigorous multi-level review process in connection with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA).  Further, ASPE is committed to demonstrating in its 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 ASPE information quality guidelines.

Reports that are selected for dissemination to the public undergo the following processes: Every report that is received as the result of a grant or contract is reviewed by the project officer and that person’s supervisor. If necessary, a technical expert may be asked to review the report and offer an opinion. A decision is made whether the report may be distributed or not. A further decision is made whether to seek support for a more extensive dissemination effort.

If a more extensive dissemination effort is recommended, a more thorough review process involving other organizations is initiated. This will usually follow formal clearance procedures controlled by the Executive Secretariat in the Office of the Secretary. Offices outside of ASPE, including the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and one or more operating divisions with an interest in the report’s contents are asked to concur in the release of the report and provide comments. Editorial changes may be made as a result of this review.