[Federal Register Volume 67, Number 190 (Tuesday, October 1, 2002)]
[Notices]
[Pages 61717-61718]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 02-24809]


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SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION


Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, 
Utility and Integrity of Information Disseminated by Federal Agencies

AGENCY: Social Security Administration (SSA).

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: This notice serves to announce the availability of SSA's 
information quality guidelines for ensuring and maximizing the quality, 
objectivity, utility and integrity of disseminated information and 
mechanisms for seeking correction of information. These guidelines are 
required by section 515 of the Treasury and General Government 
Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001. On April 29, 2002 we published 
a notice in the Federal Register announcing that our draft guidelines 
were available on our Web site, and asked for public comments on them. 
This notice revises our guidelines in response to the comments.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This notice is effective October 1, 2002.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Brian Greenberg, Office of 
Research, Evaluation, and Statistics by telephone at (410) 965-0131, 
FAX at (410) 965-3308, e-mail at Brian.V.Greenberg@ssa.gov, or mail at 
Mr. Brian Greenberg, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, 
Room 4-C-15 Operations, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21235-
6401.

[[Page 61718]]


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 515 of the Treasury and General 
Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Pub. L. 106-554) 
directs the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to issue government-
wide guidelines for Federal agencies to ensure and maximize the 
quality, objectivity, utility and integrity of information disseminated 
by Federal agencies. In response, OMB issued government-wide guidelines 
on February 22, 2002 (67 FR 8452), as revised on March 4, 2002 (67 FR 
9797), that require Federal agencies that are subject to the Paperwork 
Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35) to develop and publish their own 
information quality guidelines along with administrative mechanisms to 
allow persons to request correction of information.
    As directed by OMB (67 FR 8452), SSA prepared section 515 draft 
information quality guidelines and related material and made them 
available to the public for comment on April 29, 2002 (67 FR 21009). In 
response to comments, SSA has revised its section 515 information 
quality guidelines and mechanisms for seeking correction of 
information. The revised material has been approved by OMB as meeting 
the requirements established in the OMB government-wide guidelines.
    The SSA information quality guidelines and related information are 
on the agency's Web site at http://www.ssa.gov/515. The comments that 
SSA received on the earlier draft guidelines along with those draft 
section 515 guidelines and related material are available at http://
policy.ssa.gov/redir2.nsf/closed?OpenPage.
    The SSA received comments from the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) and from two organizations that are concerned with regulatory 
affairs. All three comment packages were generic in that they cut 
across all agencies and provided general guidance and direction. We 
considered all comments received and discuss the most significant ones 
below.
    One issue addressed in all comment packages concerned the scope of 
applicability for these guidelines. One organization expressed concern 
that the scope of agency guidelines was too narrow, and another 
organization expressed concern that the scope of agency guidelines was 
too broad. We reviewed the SSA guidelines to ensure that they are 
consistent with the intent and scope of the statute, with the OMB 
government-wide information quality guidelines, and the guidance 
provided by OMB. In response to an OMB comment, we added a statement 
noting that SSA's section 515 information quality guidelines conform to 
the guidance, scope of applicability, and intent of the government-wide 
quality guidelines issued by the OMB. We also added a statement noting 
that section 515 guidelines apply to information disseminated on or 
after October 1, 2002.
    One comment suggested that each agency's information quality 
guidelines state that agency submissions for information collection 
under the Paperwork Reduction Act will include the statement that data 
to be collected shall conform to section 515 information quality 
guidelines when appropriate. We added a statement to the SSA guidelines 
to that effect. In response to another comment, we added a statement 
establishing criteria for reproducibility of information collected in 
SSA statistical surveys.
    Several comments focused on our procedures to seek correction of 
information under section 515. In response to one comment, we added a 
statement noting that these procedures do not replace other established 
processes for challenges to disseminated information. In response to 
another comment, we will request that persons seeking correction of 
information under section 515 indicate how they are affected by the 
allegedly erroneous information. We also provided more details about 
the appeals process and set time limits for SSA to respond to initial 
requests and appeals.

    Dated: September 23, 2002.
Paul N. Van de Water,
Acting Deputy Commissioner for Policy.
[FR Doc. 02-24809 Filed 9-30-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4191-02-P