[Federal Register Volume 67, Number 204 (Tuesday, October 22, 2002)]
[Notices]
[Pages 64889-64895]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 02-26867]


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OFFICE OF NATIONAL DRUG CONTROL POLICY


Final Information Quality Guidelines and Discussion of Comments

AGENCY: Office of National Drug Control Policy.

ACTION: Publication of final Information Quality Guidelines and 
discussion of comments.

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SUMMARY: The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) is 
publishing its final Information Quality Guidelines. These Information 
Quality Guidelines describe ONDCP's predissemination information 
quality control and an administrative mechanism for requests for 
correction of information publicly disseminated by ONDCP. The 
Information Quality Guidelines are also posted on ONDCP's Web site: 
http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov.

DATES: ONDCP's predissemination review applies to information first 
disseminated by ONDCP on or after October 1, 2002. ONDCP's 
administrative mechanism for correcting information that ONDCP 
disseminates applies to information that ONDCP disseminates on or after 
October 1, 2002, regardless of when ONDCP first disseminated the 
information.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Terry S. Zobeck of the Office of 
Planning and Budget, Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), 
Washington, DC 20503. Telephone (202) 395-6700 or e-mail to: 
ondcp.info.guide@ncjrs.org">ondcp.info.guide@ncjrs.org.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Office of National Drug Control Policy 
publishes these final guidelines in accordance with the Guidelines for 
Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and 
Integrity of Information Disseminated by Federal Agencies 
(``Government-wide Guidelines'') published in interim final form by OMB 
in the Federal Register in Volume 66, No. 189 at 49718 on Friday, 
September 28, 2001, and in final form in Volume 2, No. 67 at 8452 on 
February 22, 2002. These published guidelines were issued pursuant to 
section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act 
for FY2001 (Pub. L. 106-554; HR 5658).
    ONDCP published a notice of availability for proposed information 
quality guidelines in the Federal Register on June 6, 2002 (67 FR 
38959). ONDCP amended its proposed guidelines to reflect guidance 
provided to all the agencies in a Memorandum from John D. Graham for 
the President's Management Council, ``Agency Draft Information Quality 
Guidelines'' (June 10, 2002) (``June 10 Memorandum'') and a Memorandum 
from John D. Graham to the President's Management Council, ``Agency 
Final Information Quality Guidelines'' (September 5, 2002) (``September 
5 Memorandum''). These memoranda are available on OMB's Web site: 
http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/inforeg/infopoltech.html. ONDCP also 
received public comments from two non-governmental organizations, 
Citizens for Sensible Safeguards and the Center for Regulatory 
Effectiveness which were helpful in clarifying ONDCP's guidelines. A 
summary of significant amendments to the proposed guidelines follow, in 
order of the text, followed by ONDCP's discussion of

[[Page 64890]]

specific comments received and ONDCP's final Information Quality 
Guidelines.

Summary of Significant Amendments

    In the introductory paragraph to these guidelines, ONDCP 
establishes these guidelines as its performance standard, as called for 
at page 7 of the June 10 Memorandum.
    In a new paragraph I.A.6, ONDCP adds more specific language 
involving the dissemination of influential scientific, financial, or 
statistical information. (See June 10 Memorandum, page 9; Government-
wide Guidelines, paragraph V.b.ii.B).
    ONDCP clarified its predissemination review procedures in 
renumbered paragraph I.A.7.
    In a new paragraph I.A.9, ONDCP links its clearance of proposed 
collections of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act with 
ongoing implementation of these information quality guidelines (See 
June 10 Memorandum, p. 10).
    In paragraph II.1, ONDCP stresses that the person seeking 
correction of information has the burden of proof with respect to the 
necessity for correction as well as with respect to the type of 
correction requested. (See June 10 Memorandum, page 11). In addition, 
ONDCP adds a description of the kinds of information that a person 
seeking correction of information needs to provide to help meet that 
burden of proof.
    In paragraph II.9, ONDCP points out that if it needs to extend the 
time it will take to notify the person seeking correction, it will 
provide a reasoned basis for the extension and an estimated decision 
date. (See September 5 Memorandum, Appendix, topic (3)).
    In a new paragraph II.10, ONDCP adds a provision stating that 
requests for correction of information will be considered, in cases 
where ONDCP disseminates information for public comment, prior to 
disseminating the final ONDCP product if (1) an earlier response would 
not unduly delay dissemination of the ONDCP product; and (2) the 
requestor had shown a reasonable likelihood of suffering actual harm 
from the dissemination if the correction were not made until 
dissemination of the final ONDCP product. (See September 5 Memorandum, 
Appendix, topic (2)).
    In paragraph III.3, ONDCP points out that if it needs to extend the 
time it will take to notify the person seeking reconsideration of an 
ONDCP response to a request for correction, it will provide a reasoned 
basis for the extension and an estimated decision date. (See September 
5 Memorandum, Appendix, topic (3)).
    In paragraph IV.2, ONDCP modifies the exemption for a press release 
to provide that the information in the press release has been 
previously disseminated by ONDCP or another Federal agency in 
compliance with the Government-wide Guidelines or the these ONDCP 
guidelines. (See June 10 Memorandum, page 4).
    In paragraph IV.4, ONDCP deletes from the exclusion from the 
definition of ``information'' the provision referring to statements 
that may reasonably be expected to become the subject of litigation. 
(See June 10 Memorandum, page 5).
    Otherwise, the ONDCP amendments were technical and conforming 
textual edits, designed to clarify the ONDCP guidelines and conform 
them to the Government-wide Guidelines.

Discussion of Comments

    ONDCP received lengthy comments from two organizations: Citizens 
for Sensible Safeguards (CSS) and the Center for Regulatory 
Effectiveness (CRE). The comments are summarized below followed by 
ONDCP's discussion of each comment.

General Comments

    CSS commented that ONDCP's Information Quality Guidelines should 
not inhibit public access to government information nor interfere with 
existing rulemaking processes. ONDCP Agrees.
    CSS commented that the Data Quality Act does not alter the 
substantive mandates and primary missions of ONDCP. ONDCP Agrees.
    Regarding interpretation and implementation of the Data Quality 
Act, both CSS and CRE submitted comment. CSS commented that OMB's 
guidance goes beyond what is statutorily required and that ONDCP should 
look beyond OMB guidelines to the Data Quality Act itself in 
determining the scope and components of its guidelines. CRE advocated 
that OMB does not have discretion to exempt categories of information 
from implementation of the Data Quality Act. ONDCP's response to both 
comments is the same: Legislative interpretation is within the 
discretion of the agency Congress has charged with implementation, in 
this case, OMB. ONDCP defers to OMB's interpretation and implementation 
of the Data Quality Act.
    CSS commented that ONDCP should consider the benefits of timely 
dissemination in carrying out its core mission. While this comment 
exceeds the scope of ONDCP's proposed Information Quality Guidelines, 
ONDCP does value timely dissemination of information in carrying out 
its core mission.
    CSS commented that ONDCP should retain maximum flexibility in 
implementing guidelines and err on side of the public's right to know. 
ONDCP agrees and feels that its final guidelines strike the proper 
balance between the public's right to know and flexibility in 
implementation that ONDCP has retained.
    CRE commented that ONDCP should adopt data quality as a Performance 
Goal in its Performance Plan under the Government Performance and 
Results Act. ONDCP has adopted data quality as a Performance Goal as 
reflected in the introduction to its final Information Quality 
Guidelines.
    CRE commented that ONDCP's guidelines must comply with OMB's 
interagency Data Quality guidelines. ONDCP has adopted OMB's 
guidelines.
    Both CSS and CRE commented that ONDCP should be required to correct 
information disseminations covered by its guidelines. ONDCP agrees as 
provided in section II paragraphs 6 though 10 of its final guidelines.
    CSS commented that ONDCP should include a statement to the effect 
that its guidelines are not judicially reviewable and do not provide 
any new adjudicatory authority. ONDCP has included a statement in 
section IV paragraph 2 of its final guidelines, which states: These 
guidelines do not impose any additional requirements on agencies during 
adjudicative proceedings and do not provide parties to such 
adjudicative proceedings any additional rights of challenge or appeal.

Comments Regarding Information Reliability

    CSS commented that ONDCP should further build mechanisms into the 
data collection process that flag errors before data is submitted to 
ONDCP. ONDCP's final guidelines do include processes to verify data it 
receives from other sources in section I part A. Paragraph A.1. states 
``ONDCP is committed to disseminating reliable and useful information. 
Before disseminating information, ONDCP staff and officials should 
subject such draft information to an extensive review process. It is 
the primary responsibility of the particular ONDCP Office (hereafter 
collectively referred to as ``Lead Component'') drafting information 
intended for dissemination to pursue the most knowledgeable and 
reliable sources reasonably available to confirm the objectivity and 
utility of such information.'' Paragraph A.2. continues ``Much of the 
information ONDCP disseminates consists of or is

[[Page 64891]]

based on information submitted to ONDCP by other Federal Government 
Agencies. ONDCP expects that agencies will subject information 
submitted to ONDCP for purposes of public dissemination to adequate 
quality control measures. In drafting the material to be disseminated, 
the Lead Component should review and verify the data submitted by the 
agencies, as necessary and appropriate. ONDCP also originates 
information based on research, assessments, and other efforts 
supporting drug policy development. The Lead Component should review 
and verify the data, as necessary and appropriate. * * * Each Component 
that disseminates information should maintain verification files of 
materials that it originates.'' Section I.A. concludes, stating: 
``ONDCP will maximize the quality of information it disseminates, in 
terms of objectivity and utility, first by looking for input from a 
range of sources and perspectives, to the extent practicable under the 
circumstances, and second by subjecting draft materials to a review 
process involving as many Components and offices as may be in a 
position to offer constructive input, as well as other offices within 
the Executive Office of the President and other government agencies.''
    CRE commented that ONDCP's guidelines should exclude bias from risk 
assessment. ONDCP does not perform risk assessment. ONDCP has therefore 
adopted OMB's guidelines defining ``objectivity'' to mean that 
information be ``unbiased'' without reference to elimination of bias in 
risk assessment.
    Both CSS and CRE submitted comments regarding adoption of the 
science quality and risk assessment standards contained in the Safe 
Drinking Water Act. CRE advocated that ONDCP's guidelines should adopt 
the science quality and risk assessment standards contained in the 1996 
amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act, while CSS expressed three 
cautions regarding the use of peer review in relation to risk 
assessment consistent with the Safe Drinking Water Act. ONDCP's final 
guidelines do not address the Safe Drinking Water Act or risk 
assessment because ONDCP does not perform risk assessment.
    CRE commented that ONDCP's guidelines should adopt the requirement 
contained in OMB's guidelines of robustness checks for data, models, or 
other information that ONDCP cannot disclose, but which are material to 
information ONDCP does disclose. ONDCP has adopted OMB's guidelines as 
reflected in section I, paragraph A. 6 of its final guidelines.
    CRE commented that ONDCP's guidelines should generally prohibit the 
use of third-party proprietary models, unless no other option is 
available and OMB concurs. When no other option is available, CRE 
advocates that ONDCP's guidelines should explain in detail what 
``especially rigorous robustness checks'' will be applied to third-
party proprietary models and explain how the public will be notified 
of, and permitted to comment upon, these ``robustness checks''. Section 
I paragraph 5 of ONDCP's final guidelines adopt OMB's requirement that 
influential scientific information be reproducible. Section I paragraph 
5 also provides that ``In situations where public access to the data 
will not occur, the Lead Component should apply especially rigorous 
robustness checks and document what checks were undertaken''.

Comments Regarding Coverage of Guidelines

    CRE commented that ONDCP's guidelines must apply to information 
being disseminated on or after October 1, regardless of when the 
information was first disseminated as explicitly enumerated in OMB's 
guidelines. ONDCP has adopted OMB's guideline.
    CSS commented that ONDCP should detail and expand on the types of 
information and methods of dissemination that are not covered by its 
guidelines. ONDCP agrees as reflected in its final guidelines in 
section IV paragraph 2 defining ``Dissemination'' and paragraph 4 
defining ``Information''.
    CRE commented that ONDCP's guidelines should not exclude rulemaking 
records. ONDCP's guidelines do not exclude rulemaking records.
    Both CSS and CRE commented regarding third party information 
submitted to ONDCP. CSS commented that ONDCP should clearly state that 
its guidelines apply only to information disseminated by ONDCP and not 
when ONDCP is merely acting as a conduit of information. CRE advocated 
that when ONDCP uses, relies on, or endorses third party information, 
the agency itself should have the burden of ensuring that the 
information meets the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity 
standards required by its data quality guidelines. ONDCP agrees as 
reflected in section IV paragraph 2 of its final guidelines: 
``Dissemination does not include the pass-through of public filings or 
other information received from third-parties by ONDCP and made 
available for public review through website posting or other means, 
without ONDCP's official endorsement of its content. However, these 
guidelines may apply to third-party information adopted or endorsed by 
ONDCP, or used to formulate guidance or other ONDCP decision or 
position''.
    CRE commented that ONDCP's guidelines should use OMB's definition 
of ``affected persons''. ONDCP has adopted OMB's definition in section 
IV.
    Both CSS and CRE commented regarding the definition of 
``influential''. CSS advocated that ONDCP narrowly define ``influential 
information'', employing a high threshold for coverage.
    CRE advocated that ONDCP should adopt the definition of 
``influential'' contained in OMB's guidelines. ONDCP's final guidelines 
adopt OMB's definition of ``influential'' in section IV paragraph 3.

Comments Regarding Requests for Correction

    CRE commented that ONDCP's guidelines should set an appropriate, 
specific timeframe for agency decisions on information correction 
petitions. ONDCP's final guidelines provide a 60 day timeframe in 
section II paragraphs 5, 8, and 9.
    CRE commented that ONDCP's guidelines should specify a party 
responsible for acting on information correction petitions. ONDCP's 
agrees and specifies the Chief of Staff or their designee in section II 
of its final guidelines.
    CSS commented that ONDCP should clearly state that the burden of 
proof lies squarely with the requester. ONDCP agrees and has explicitly 
stated that in section II paragraph 1 of its final guidelines.
    CRE commented that ONDCP should adopt OMB's guidelines providing 
that the presumption of objectivity is rebuttable ``based on a 
persuasive showing by a petitioner in a particular instance.'' ONDCP 
agrees and has adopted OMB's guidelines as reflected in section II 
paragraph 1 of its final guidelines providing that the petitioner bears 
the burden of proof and 1(d) providing that the requester submit all 
supporting evidence which the petitioner believes provides a persuasive 
case.
    CSS commented that ONDCP should explicitly state that the 
administrative mechanism will not consider interpretations of data and 
information, or requests for de-publishing. ONDCP agrees that its 
guidelines should not allow requests for correction that challenge the 
interpretation of data and information, or seek de-publishing. However 
such requests are not within the definitions contained in ONDCP's

[[Page 64892]]

final guidelines and therefore do not require an explicit statement 
excluding them. See section IV paragraph 4 of the final guidelines 
excluding from the definition of ``information'': opinions or policy; 
statements of Administration policy; and testimony or comments of ONDCP 
officials.
    CSS commented that ONDCP should limit complaints under its 
administrative mechanisms to information that is not already subject to 
existing data quality programs and measures. ONDCP agrees and has 
reflected that in section IV paragraph 2.e. of its final guidelines.
    CSS commented that ONDCP should state that frivolous or duplicative 
requests may be rejected. ONDCP agrees and has reflected that in 
section III paragraph 1 of its final guidelines.
    CSS commented that ONDCP should establish a timeliness requirement 
for requests after which it has the option to reject a request. ONDCP's 
final guidelines retain ONDCP's discretion to consider the timeliness 
of requests as part of its review of (a.) the significance of the 
information involved and (b.) the nature and extent of the request and 
public benefit of making the requested correction as set out in section 
II paragraph 7.
    CSS commented that ONDCP should limit complaints for any data 
quality standard that presents a potential moving target (i.e. ``best 
available evidence'') to information available at the time of 
dissemination. ONDCP has adopted OMB's guidelines.

Comments Regarding ONDCP Response To Requests for Correction

    CSS commented that ONDCP's guidelines should specifically state 
that responses to correction requests will be proportional to the 
significance and importance of the information in question. ONDCP 
agrees as reflected in section II. Paragraph 7 states ``When 
considering covered requests to determine whether a corrective action 
is appropriate, the reviewing Component may consider the following 
factors: (a.) The significance of the information involved, and (b.) 
the nature and extent of the request and the public benefit of making 
the requested correction. Paragraph 9 states ``Subject to applicable 
law, rules and regulations, corrective measures may be taken through a 
number of forms, including (but not limited to) personal contacts via 
letter or telephone, form letters, press releases or postings on the 
ONDCP website * * * to correct a widely disseminated error or address a 
frequently raised request. Corrective measures, where appropriate, 
should be designed to provide reasonable notice to affected persons of 
such correction.''
    CSS commented that ONDCP should specify that it will establish a 
running docket of requests and changes. Consistent with OMB's guidance 
ONDCP has created a place on its website, www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov 
where significant corrections made as a result of ONDCP's correction 
process will be described.

Comments Regarding ONDCP Reconsideration of Requests for Correction

    CRE commented that consistent with OMB's intent, ONDCP's guidelines 
should include a meaningful appeals process. ONDCP agrees and has 
adopted OMB's guidelines in section III.
    CSS commented that ONDCP's reconsideration process should be fairly 
informal and limited in scope. ONDCP agrees as reflected in section III 
of its final guidelines.
    CSS commented that ONDCP's reconsideration should be limited to 
showing due diligence in the initial consideration of a request. ONDCP 
disagrees. Consistent with OMB's guidance, section III paragraph 3 of 
ONDCP's final guidelines provide that ``ONDCP's Chief of Staff * * * 
will consider the request for reconsideration, applying the standards 
and procedures set out in section II above * * *.''
    CSS commented that ONDCP should establish a 30-day time limit for 
requests for reconsideration. ONDCP agrees as reflected in section III 
paragraph 2 of its final guidelines.

Office of National Drug Control Policy Information Quality Guidelines

    The Office of National Drug Control Policy publishes these 
guidelines in accordance with the Guidelines for Ensuring and 
Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of 
Information Disseminated by Federal Agencies (``Government-wide 
Guidelines'') published in interim final form by OMB in the Federal 
Register in Volume 66, No. 189 at 49718 on Friday, September 28, 2001, 
and in final form in Volume 2, No. 67 at 8452 on February 22, 2002. 
These published guidelines were issued pursuant to section 515 of the 
Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for FY2001 (Pub. L. 
106-554; HR 5658). In response to the legislation and the published 
guidelines, ONDCP identifies the following policies and procedures for 
ensuring and maximizing the quality, objectivity, utility, and 
integrity of information disseminated by ONDCP; and it hereby 
establishes additional procedures for affected persons to seek and 
obtain correction of information maintained and disseminated by ONDCP 
that does not comply with standards set out in the Government-wide 
Guidelines. These ONDCP guidelines are intended to ensure and maximize 
the quality of information disseminated by ONDCP. Through these ONDCP 
guidelines, ONDCP establishes as its performance standard a goal of 
disseminating reliable and useful information consistent with the 
Government-wide Guidelines and these ONDCP guidelines.

Section I. Procedures for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, 
Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Information Prior to 
Dissemination

    In Government-wide Guidelines, ``quality'' is defined as an 
encompassing term comprising utility, objectivity, and integrity.
A. Objectivity and Utility of Information
    1. As defined in section IV, below, ``objectivity'' is a measure of 
whether disseminated information is ``accurate, reliable, and unbiased 
and that information is presented in an accurate, clear, complete, and 
unbiased manner;'' ``utility'' refers to the usefulness of the 
information to its intended audience for the intended audience's 
anticipated purposes. ONDCP is committed to disseminating reliable and 
useful information. Before disseminating information, ONDCP staff and 
officials should subject such draft information to an extensive review 
process. It is the primary responsibility of the particular ONDCP 
Office (hereafter collectively referred to as ``Lead Component'') 
drafting information intended for dissemination to pursue the most 
knowledgeable and reliable sources reasonably available to confirm the 
objectivity and utility of such information.
    2. Much of the information ONDCP disseminates consists of or is 
based on information submitted to ONDCP by other Federal Government 
Agencies. ONDCP expects that agencies will subject information 
submitted to ONDCP for purposes of public dissemination to adequate 
quality control measures. In drafting the material to be disseminated, 
the Lead Component should review and verify the data submitted by the 
agencies, as necessary and appropriate. ONDCP also originates 
information based on research, assessments, and other efforts 
supporting drug policy development. The Lead Component should review 
and verify the data, as necessary and appropriate. Underlying 
information upon which the disseminated material

[[Page 64893]]

is based may be subject to these guidelines only if that information is 
published by ONDCP. Being subject to these guidelines does not 
necessarily mean that the material published by ONDCP is a policy 
statement of the U.S. government. ONDCP contracts with organizations to 
conduct research in support of drug policy, but their results are not 
influenced by ONDCP policy. Each Component that disseminates 
information should maintain verification files of materials that it 
originates.
    3. In seeking to assure the ``objectivity'' and ``utility'' of the 
information it disseminates, ONDCP should generally follow a basic 
clearance process coordinated by the Lead Component drafting 
information intended for dissemination. The quality control process 
places responsibility for action upon the Lead Component. The Lead 
Component is encouraged to consult with all Components throughout ONDCP 
having substantial interest or expertise in the material proposed to be 
disseminated. Where appropriate, substantive input also should be 
sought from other offices within the Executive Office of the President 
(EOP), other government agencies, non-government organizations, and the 
public.
    4. The Lead Component should consider the uses of the information 
from both the perspective of ONDCP and the public. When it is 
determined that the transparency of information is relevant for 
assessing the information's usefulness from the public's perspective, 
the Lead Component should ensure that transparency is appropriately 
addressed.
    5. When the Lead Component determines that the information it will 
disseminate is influential scientific, financial, or statistical 
information, extra care should be taken to include a high degree of 
transparency about data and methods to meet the Government-wide 
Guidelines' requirement for the reproducibility of such information. In 
this context, a high degree of transparency for published information 
means that the methodology used to derive the results is readily 
understandable to persons experienced in the appropriate field of 
study. In determining the appropriate level of transparency, the Lead 
Component should consider the types of data that can practicably be 
subjected to a reproducibility requirement given ethical, feasibility, 
and confidentiality constraints. In making this determination, the Lead 
Component should hold analytical results to an even higher standard 
than original data.
    6. When the Lead Component determines that the information it will 
disseminate is influential scientific, financial, or statistical 
information, it should assure reproducibility according to commonly 
accepted scientific, financial, or statistical standards. In situations 
where public access to the data will not occur, the Lead Component 
should apply especially rigorous robustness checks to analytic results 
and document what checks were undertaken. Also, in such cases, the Lead 
Component should disclose the specific data sources that have been used 
and the specific quantitative methods and assumptions that have been 
employed.
    7. The Component responsible for the dissemination of information 
should generally take the following basic steps to assure the 
``objectivity'' and ``utility'' of the information to be disseminated:
    a. Preparing a draft of the document after consulting the necessary 
parties, including government and non-government sources, as 
appropriate;
    b. Determining/assuring accuracy and completeness of source data;
    c. Determining the expected uses by the government and public;
    d. Determining necessary clearance points;
    e. Determining where the final decision shall be made;
    f. Determining whether peer review would be appropriate and, if 
necessary, coordinating such review;
    g. Obtaining clearances; and
    h. Overcoming delays and, if necessary, presenting the matter to 
higher authority.
    8. Hard-copy public dissemination of information and all 
information published on ONDCP's website www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov 
shall occur only after clearances are obtained from all appropriate 
Components and, as appropriate, the Office of the Chief-of-Staff.
    9. The quality control procedures followed by ONDCP should be 
determined by the nature of the information and the manner of its 
distribution. Any information collected by ONDCP and subject to the 
Paperwork Reduction Act should be collected, maintained, and used in a 
manner consistent with ONDCP information quality standards. The ONDCP 
clearance package will demonstrate that the proposed collection of 
information will result in information that will be collected, 
maintained, and used in a way consistent with the Government-wide 
Guidelines and ONDCP guidelines.
    10. These guidelines focus on procedures for the ``dissemination'' 
of ``information,'' as those terms are defined herein. Accordingly, 
procedures specifically applicable to forms of communication outside 
the scope of these guidelines, such as those for correspondence or 
press releases, among others, are not included.
    Conclusion: ONDCP will maximize the quality of the information it 
disseminates, in terms of objectivity and utility, first by looking for 
input from a range of sources and perspectives, to the extent 
practicable under the circumstances, and second by subjecting draft 
materials to a review process involving as many Components and offices 
as may be in a position to offer constructive input, as well as other 
offices within the Executive Office of the President and other 
government agencies.
B. Integrity of Information
    1. ``Integrity'' refers to the security of information--protection 
of the information from unauthorized, unanticipated, or unintentional 
modification--to prevent information from being compromised through 
corruption or falsification.
    2. Within the Executive Office of the President (EOP), the Office 
of Administration has substantial responsibility for ensuring the 
``integrity'' of information as defined in these guidelines. ONDCP also 
has a Management and Administration Office that coordinates and works 
with the EOP Office of Administration to ensure the integrity of 
information. These offices implement and maintain new computer software 
and hardware systems and provide operational support for systems and 
system users.
    3. Computer security is the responsibility of the EOP Office of 
Administration's Chief Information Officer, Information Assurance 
Directorate. This Office oversees all matters relating to information 
integrity, including the design and implementation of the security 
architecture for the EOP, periodic audits of security architecture 
components, and review and approval of changes to the technical 
baseline. Per law and ONDCP policy, EOP's IT security policy, 
procedures, and controls are risk-based, cost-effective, and 
incorporated into the lifecycle planning of every IT investment. 
Additionally, the Office: Assesses risks to its systems and implements 
appropriate security controls; reviews annually the security of its 
systems; and develops plans to remediate all security weaknesses found 
in independent evaluations and other security audits and reviews.

[[Page 64894]]

    4. As an agency under the EOP, ONDCP is an integral part of the 
overall EOP network, and is an active participant in all aspects of 
information integrity at EOP. ONDCP adheres to both law and ONDCP IT 
security policies, along with EOP security policies and operational 
processes for the protection of ONDCP's data and information. This 
includes ensuring that controls to protect the security of information 
(and the integrity of information) are risk-based, cost-effective, and 
incorporated into the life-cycle planning of every IT investment. 
ONDCP's systems are reviewed annually in accordance with existing law 
and policy and corrective action plans are developed to address all 
security weaknesses, such as integrity issues.

Section II. Requests for Correction of Information Publicly 
Disseminated by the Office of National Drug Control Policy

    ONDCP works continuously to be responsive to users of its 
information and to ensure quality. In furtherance of these objectives, 
when ONDCP receives any information from the public that raises 
questions about the quality of the information it has disseminated, 
ONDCP duly considers corrective action.
    1. Persons seeking to correct information affecting them that was 
publicly disseminated by ONDCP may submit such requests to the ONDCP 
Chief of Staff, addressed to the Office of National Drug Control 
Policy, Executive Office of the President, Washington, DC 20503. A 
member of the public who seeks correction of information under these 
ONDCP guidelines as the burden of proof with respect to the necessity 
for correction as well as with respect to the type of correction 
requested. Requests for correction must include:
    a. A statement that the communication is a Petition for Correction 
under the ONDCP Information Quality Guidelines;
    b. Identification of the ONDCP information or ONDCP information 
dissemination product, and the specific aspect(s) thereof, that is the 
subject of the petition;
    c. A description of how the information does not comply with the 
ONDCP guidelines or the Government-wide Guidelines and how they are 
affected by the information;
    d. All supporting evidence upon which the petitioner believes 
provides a persuasive case and all supporting documentation necessary 
to resolve the complaint; and the specific corrective action sought, 
including (if applicable) temporary corrective action pending full 
resolution of the complaint.
    2. If the information disseminated by ONDCP and contested by an 
affected person was previously disseminated by another Federal agency 
in virtually identical form, then the complaint should be directed to 
the originating agency.
    3. Requests will be received by the ONDCP Chief of Staff. 
Typically, requests raising substantive issues will be forwarded to the 
Component within ONDCP responsible for the subject area.
    4. These guidelines apply only to requests submitted as outlined 
above. These guidelines will not be applied to any other form of 
request and also may not be applied to a request submitted consistent 
with the procedures outlined above, if ONDCP determines it is not 
submitted by an affected person for the correction of publicly 
disseminated information of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
    5. If ONDCP determines that a request is not covered by these 
guidelines, it will so advise the requester within 60 days, unless 
there is a reasoned basis for an extension. If a request is deemed 
frivolous, no response will be made.
    6. For covered requests, the Component reviewing the request will 
give the request due consideration, including a review of the 
disseminated information at issue and other materials, as appropriate. 
Where the reviewing Component or office determines that the information 
publicly disseminated by ONDCP warrants correction, it should consider 
appropriate corrective measures recognizing the potential implications 
for ONDCP and the United States.
    7. When considering covered requests to determine whether a 
corrective action is appropriate, the reviewing Component may consider 
the following factors:
    a. The significance of the information involved, and
    b. The nature and extent of the request and the public benefit of 
making the requested correction.
    8. If ONDCP determines that a request is covered by these 
guidelines, but that corrective action is unnecessary or is otherwise 
inappropriate, ONDCP will notify the requestor of its determination 
within 60 days, unless there is a reasoned basis for an extension.
    9. If ONDCP determines that a request is covered by these 
guidelines and that corrective action is appropriate, it will notify 
the requestor of its determination and what action has been or will be 
taken within 60 days, unless there is a reasoned basis for an 
extension. In which case, ONDCP will inform the requestor of the 
extension, providing its reasons for the extension and an estimated 
decision date. Subject to applicable law, rules and regulations, 
corrective measures may be taken through a number of forms, including 
(but not limited to): Personal contacts via letter or telephone, form 
letters, press releases or postings on the ONDCP website, 
www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov, to correct a widely disseminated error or 
address a frequently raised request. Corrective measures, where 
appropriate, should be designed to provide reasonable notice to 
affected persons of such correction.
    10. In cases where ONDCP disseminates information for public 
comment prior to disseminating the final product, requests for 
correction of information will be considered prior to disseminating the 
final product in those cases where ONDCP has determined that an earlier 
response would not unduly delay dissemination of the product and the 
requestor has shown a reasonable likelihood of suffering actual harm 
without the earlier response.

Section III. Procedures for Requesting Reconsideration

    1. The following procedures are available to an affected person who 
has filed a covered request for correction of public information in 
accordance with section II, above; who received notice from the ONDCP 
Chief of Staff of ONDCP's determination; and who believes that the 
ONDCP did not take appropriate corrective action. Requests determined 
by ONDCP to be not covered by the guidelines and requests determined to 
be frivolous will not be reconsidered under these provisions. These 
procedures apply to information disseminated by ONDCP on or after 
October 1, 2002, regardless of when the information was first 
disseminated.
    2. To request reconsideration, persons should clearly indicate that 
the communication is a ``Request for Reconsideration;'' should 
reference the ONDCP Information Quality Guidelines; and should include 
a copy of the request for correction previously submitted to ONDCP and 
ONDCP's response. Resubmission should be made to the ONDCP Chief-of-
Staff by mail using the contact information in section II, paragraph 1, 
above. Requests for Reconsideration must be submitted within thirty 
(30) days of the date of ONDCP's notification to the requester of the 
disposition of the underlying request for correction.
    3. ONDCP's Chief of Staff or a delegee thereof will consider the 
request for reconsideration, applying the standards

[[Page 64895]]

and procedures set out in section II, above and will make a 
determination regarding the request. In most cases, the requestor will 
be notified of the determination and, if appropriate, the corrective 
action to be taken, within 60 days. If the request for reconsideration 
requires more than 60 days, ONDCP will inform the requestor of the 
extension, providing its reasons for the extension and an estimated 
decision date. ONDCP will give reasonable notice to affected persons of 
any corrections made.

Section IV. Definitions

    1. ``Affected'' persons are those who may benefit or be harmed by 
the disseminated information. This includes both: a. Persons seeking to 
address information about themselves or about other persons to whom 
they are related or associated; and b. persons who use the information.
    2. ``Dissemination'' means agency initiated or sponsored 
distribution of information to the public (see 5 CFR 1320.3(d) 
``Conduct or Sponsor''). Dissemination does not include the pass-
through of public filings or other information received from third-
parties by ONDCP and made available for public review through website 
posting or other means, without ONDCP's official endorsement of its 
content. However, these guidelines may apply to third-party information 
adopted or endorsed by ONDCP, or used to formulate guidance or other 
ONDCP decision or position.
    In addition, dissemination does not include distributions of 
information or other materials that are:
    a. Intended for government employees or agency contractors or 
grantees;
    b. Intended for U.S. Government agencies;
    c. Produced in responses to requests for agency records under the 
Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, the Federal Advisory 
Committee Act or similar law;
    d. Correspondence or other communication limited to individuals or 
to other persons, within the meaning of paragraph 7, below; or
    e. Communications such as press releases, interviews, speeches, and 
similar statements containing information that ONDCP or another Federal 
agency has previously disseminated in compliance with the Government-
wide Guidelines or the ONDCP guidelines; or
    f. Documents (e.g., guidance, bulletins, policy directives) 
intended only for inter-agency And intra-agency communications.
    Also excluded from the definition are archival records; public 
filings; responses to subpoenae or compulsory document productions; or 
documents prepared and released in the context of adjudicative 
processes. These guidelines do not impose any additional requirements 
on agencies during adjudicative proceedings and do not provide parties 
to such adjudicative proceedings any additional rights of challenge or 
appeal.
    3. ``Influential,'' when used in the phrase ``influential 
scientific, financial, or statistical information,'' refers to 
disseminated information that ONDCP determines will have a clear and 
substantial impact on important public policies or important private 
sector decisions.
    4. ``Information,'' for purposes of these guidelines, including the 
administrative mechanism described in sections II and III, above, means 
any communication or representation of facts or data, in any medium or 
form, including textual, numerical, graphic, cartographic, narrative, 
or audiovisual forms. This definition does not include:
    a. Opinions or policy, where the presentation makes clear that the 
statements are subjective opinions, rather than facts. Underlying 
information upon which the opinion or policy is based may be subject to 
these guidelines only if that information is published by ONDCP;
    b. Information originated by, and attributed to, non-ONDCP sources, 
provided ONDCP does not expressly rely upon it. Examples include: non-
U.S. Government information reported and duly attributed in materials 
prepared and disseminated by ONDCP; hyperlinks on ONDCP's website to 
information that others disseminate; and reports of advisory committees 
published on ONDCP's website;
    c. Statements related solely to the internal personnel rules and 
practices of ONDCP and other materials produced for ONDCP employees, 
contractors, or agents;
    d. Descriptions of the agency, its responsibilities and its 
organizational components;
    e. Statements, the modification of which might cause harm to the 
national security, including harm to the national defense or foreign 
relations of the United States;
    f. Statements of Administration policy; however, any underlying 
information published by ONDCP upon which a statement is based may be 
subject to these guidelines;
    g. Testimony or comments of ONDCP officials before courts, 
administrative bodies, Congress, or the media;
    h. Investigatory material compiled pursuant to U.S. law or for law 
enforcement purposes in the United States.
    5. ``Integrity'' refers to the security of information--protection 
of the information from unauthorized access or revision, to prevent the 
information from being compromised through corruption or falsification.
    6. ``Objectivity'' is a measure of whether disseminated information 
is accurate, reliable, and unbiased and whether disseminated 
information is being presented in an accurate, clear, complete, and 
unbiased manner.
    7. ``Person'' means an individual, partnership, association, 
corporation, business trust, or legal representative, an organized 
group of individuals, a regional, national, State, territorial, tribal, 
or local government or branch thereof, or a political subdivision of a 
State, territory, tribal, or local government or a branch of a 
political subdivision, or an international organization;
    8. ``Quality'' is an encompassing term comprising utility, 
objectivity, and integrity. Therefore, the guidelines sometimes refer 
these four statutory terms, collectively, as ``quality''
    9. ``Utility'' refers to the usefulness of the information to its 
intended users, including the public.

    Dated: October 1, 2002.
Daniel Schecter,
Chief of Staff.
[FR Doc. 02-26867 Filed 10-21-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3180-02-P