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


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

CDC will establish a Website to advise information consumers of the agency's information quality guidelines, the process to submit a complaint, information needed by the complainant, and a description of the complaint adjudication process. CDC will centralize the initial receipt, logging, and tracking of all complaints received under this provision in the Management Analysis and Services Office (MASO), Office of Program Services. Complaints will be forwarded to the office that has subject matter responsibility for the information product in question.

  1. Responsibility of the Complainant

    To seek a correction of information disseminated by the agency, individuals must follow the procedures described below:

    1. complaints or requests for review and correction of information must be in written (hard copy or electronic) form;
    2. requests shall be sent to CDC by mail at CDC/ATSDR, Attn: MASO, MS-E11, 1600 Clifton Road, N.E.; Atlanta, GA 30333 or by e-mail at: InfoQuality@cdc.gov; and
    3. requests shall state that an information quality request for correction is being submitted.

    The complaint must contain:

    1. a detailed description of the specific information that needs to be corrected including where the information 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 reasons for believing the information does not comply with OMB, HHS or CDC 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.

  2. CDC/ATSDR Responsibility

    CDC 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 requestor will be informed that more time is required, notified of the reason why, and provided an estimated decision date. Based on a review of the information provided, the agency will determine whether a correction is warranted and, if so, what action to take. CDC will respond to the requestor by letter or e-mail, explaining 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 of the CDC decision.

  3. Appeals

    If the individual submitting the complaint does not agree with CDC'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 must state the reasons why the agency response is insufficient or inadequate. Complainants must attach a copy of their original request and the agency's response to it. Clearly mark the appeal with the words, "Information Quality Appeal," and send the appeal by mail to CDC/ATSDR, Attn: MASO, MS-E11; 1600 Clifton Road, N.E., Atlanta, GA 30333 or by e-mail to InfoQuality@cdc.gov.

    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.

    The agency official who resolved the original complaint will not have responsibility for the appeal. MASO will direct all appeals to an appropriate CDC official in the Office of the Director based on the nature of the information product and complaint.