HHS Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Information Disseminated to the Public. VI. Agency Administrative Complaint Procedures

10/01/2002

  1. Responsibility of the Complainant
    NCHS has developed administrative mechanisms to allow affected persons to seek and obtain correction of disseminated information that does not comply with OMB, HHS and NCHS guidelines.

    To seek a correction of information disseminated by NCHS, individuals should follow the procedures described below.

    1. A complaint or request for review and correction of information shall be in written hard copy or electronic form;
    2. it shall be sent to NCHS by mail or electronic-mail (e-mail); and
    3. it shall state that an information quality request for correction is being submitted.

    The complaint shall contain

    1. a detailed description of the specific material that needs to be corrected, including where the material is located, i.e., the publication title, date, and publication number, if any, or the website and web page address (url), or the speech title, presenter, date and place of delivery;
    2. the specific reason(s) for believing the information does not comply with OMB, HHS or NCHS guidelines and is in error and supporting documentation, if any;
    3. the specific recommendations for correcting the information;
    4. a description of how the complainant is affected by the information error; and
    5. the name, mailing address, telephone number, e-mail address, and organizational affiliation, if any, of the complainant.

    Complainants should be aware that they bear the "burden of proof" with respect to the necessity for correction as well as with respect to the type of correction they seek.

    The complaint or request for review and correction of information shall be addressed to:

    Dr. Jennifer Madans
    Associate Director for Science, NCHS.

    Dr. Madans may be contacted by e-mail at JMadans@cdc.gov. Her mailing address is:

    National Center for Health Statistics
    6525 Belcrest Road, Room 1140
    Hyattsville, MD 20782
     

  2. Responsibility of NCHS

    Based on a review of the information provided, NCHS will determine whether a correction is warranted and, if so, what action to take. NCHS will respond to the requester by letter or e-mail. The NCHS response will explain the findings of the review and the actions that it will take, if any. The response will consider the nature and timeliness of the information involved and such factors as the significance of the correction on the use of the information and the magnitude of the correction. The response will describe how the complainant may request reconsideration. NCHS will respond to all requests for correction within 60 calendar days of receipt. If the request requires more than 60 calendar days to resolve, NCHS will inform the complainant that more time is required and indicate the reason(s) why. NCHS will also provide an estimated decision date.
     

  3. Appeals

    If the complainant does not agree with the NCHS decision (including the corrective action, if any), the complainant may send a written hard copy or electronic request for reconsideration within 30 days of receipt of the NCHS decision. The appeal shall state the reason(s) why the NCHS response is insufficient or inadequate. Complainants shall attach a copy of their original request and the NCHS response to it, clearly mark the appeal with the words, "Information Quality Appeal," and send the appeal to the NCHS appeals address, which will be included in the NCHS response.

    The NCHS official who reviewed the original complaint will not have responsibility for responding to the appeal. The agency will respond to all requests for appeals within 60 calendar days of receipt. If the request requires more than 60 calendar days to resolve, the agency will inform the complainant that more time is required and indicate the reason why and an estimated decision date.