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

    To seek a correction of information disseminated by the agency, 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 the agency 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; and
    2. the specific reasons for believing the information does not comply with OMB, HHS or HRSA guidelines and is in error and supporting documentation, if any;
    3. the specific recommendations for correcting the information;
    4. a description of how the person submitting the complaint is affected by the information error; and
    5. the name, mailing address, telephone number, e-mail address, and organizational affiliation, if any, of the individual making the complaint.

    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.

    Complaints by mail should be directed to:

    HRSA Reports Clearance Officer
    HRSA/OPE, Room 14-45
    5600 Fishers Lane
    Rockville, MD. 20857

    E-Mail complaints should be sent to www.infoquality@hrsa.gov

  2. Responsibility of the Agency

    Based on a review of the information provided, the agency will determine whether a correction is warranted and if, so what action to take. The agency will respond to the requestor by letter or e-mail. The agency's response will explain the findings of the review and the actions that the agency 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. The agency will respond to all requests for correction 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.

  3. Appeals

    If the individual submitting the complaint does not agree with the agency's 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 agency's decision. The appeal shall state the reasons why the agency response is insufficient or inadequate. Complainants shall attach a copy of their original request and the agency response to it, clearly mark the appeal with the words, Information Quality Appeal, and send the appeal to the specific agency appeals address:

    Division of Information and Analysis
    Office of Planning and Evaluation
    HRSA, Room 14-45
    5600 Fishers Lane
    Rockville, MD. 20857

    The agency official who resolved the original complaint will not have responsibility for 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.

  4. Comments and Requests for Information:

    HRSA's Office of Communications (OC) has maintained a toll-free phone number to answer questions and address comments on subject specific information. This office has served as the point of entry for queries regarding HRSA information, requests for publications, comments and corrections to information disseminated to the public. To date this Office has not received any complaints about information disseminated by HRSA. Calls have been made, however, by States and grantees to correct and/or update information that is maintained on the HRSA web site. These infrequent calls are received by the OC and directed toward the appropriate Bureau for review, verification, and revision. The States/grantees verify the correction/modification of their data to Bureau staff and after confirmation with program staff the revisions are implemented. In addition, the HRSA web site contains a detailed list of HRSA phone numbers by Office and Bureau for comment or for additional information. Comments and questions can be mailed to ask@hrsa.gov or comments@hrsa.gov, or by calling 1-800-275-4772.