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

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

External complaints about information disseminated can be made in the form of written correspondence. The Chief Information Officer (CIO), is the ACF official designated to receive and resolve complaints regarding information that does not comply with either the OMB guidelines or the agency's guidelines. The CIO's address is: Chief Information Officer, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration , Administration for Children and Families, Aerospace Building, 6th Floor, 370 L'Enfant Promenade SW, Washington, D.C. 20447. Feedback and complaints may be sent electronically to InfoQuality@acf.hhs.gov.

  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);
    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 reasons for believing the information does not comply with OMB, HHS or ACF 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. 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.

    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.