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Quality of Information Requirements

USDA's Quality of Information Guidelines

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued "Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Information Disseminated by Federal Agencies." Congress directed OMB to issue these guidelines in Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Public Law 106-554); section 515 is commonly referred to as the Data Quality Act.

OMB published its guidelines in interim final form in the Federal Register on Sep 28, 2001, at 66 FR 49718-49725 and updated the guidelines on Feb 22, 2002, at 67 FR 8452-8460, and on Mar 4, 2002, at 67 FR 9797. Also, after reviewing initial agency draft guidelines, OMB issued supplementary guidance that discussed important issues, identified noteworthy approaches for consideration, and provided guidance on those p rovisions that need to be adopted uniformly in all agency guidelines (Memorandum from John D. Graham for the President's Management Council, "Agency Draft Information Quality Guidelines," Jun 10, 2002; and, Memorandum from John D. Graham for the President's Management Council, "Agency Final Information Quality Guidelines," Sep 5, 2002). This guidance is available from OMB's Information Policy, IT & E-Gov web page.

How to Submit Formal Requests for Correction
All requests for correction of RMA information must be submitted by letter, fax, or email to:

RMA Quality of Information Officer
USDA/RMA/Stop 0801
Washington, DC 20501
FAX: 202-690-2818
Email: Chad Sheridan


Information That Should Be Submitted to RMA with a Request for Correction
Requests for correction of information should include the following elements:

  • Statement that the Request for Correction of Information is Submitted Under USDA's Information Quality Guidelines
  • Requestor Contact Information - The name, mailing address, telephone number, fax number (if any), email address (if any), and organizational affiliation (if any) of the person requesting the correction.
  • Description of Information to Correct - The name of the RMA publication, report, or data product; the date of issuance or other identifying information such as the URL of the web page; and a detailed description that clearly identifies the specific information contained in that publication, report, or data product for which a correction is being sought.
  • Explanation of Noncompliance with OMB and/or USDA Information Quality Guidelines - An explanation that describes how the information fails to meet either the OMB or USDA Information Quality Guidelines.
  • Explanation of the Effect of the Alleged Error - An explanation that describes the requestor's use of the information in question and how the requestor is affected by the alleged error.
  • Recommendation and Justification for How the Information Should Be Corrected - The requestor should state specifically how the information should be corrected and explain why the corrections should be made. A request for correction that is specific and provides evidence to support the need for correction is likely to be more persuasive than a request that is general, unfocused, or that simply indicates disagreement with the information in question.

This guidance for the content of requests for correction of information is not intended to constitute a set of legally binding requirements. Requestors bear the "burden of proof" with respect to the necessity for correction as well as with respect to the type of correction they seek. However, the Foreign Agricultural Service may be unable to process, in a timely fashion or at all, requests that omit one or more of the requested elements. The foreign Agricultural Service will base its decision on the merits of the information provided by the requestor.


Public Disclosure of Requests For Correction of Information Disseminated by RMA and Requests for Reconsideration of RMA Decisions

Requests for Correction Received by RMA
No requests for correction have been received from October 2002 through July 2009.

Requests for Reconsideration of RMA Decisions
No requests for correction have been received from October 2002 through July 2009.


Privacy Act Statement
USDA is authorized to obtain certain information under Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Public Law No. 106-554, codified at 44 U.S.C. 3516, note). Information is needed by USDA to process the request for correction and allow USDA to reply accordingly. This information is needed by USDA to respond to the requestor and initiate follow-up contact with the requestor if required. Requestors should not send USDA their Social Security Number. Requestors are advised that they do not have to furnish the information but failure to do so may prevent their request from being processed. The information requestors furnish is almost never used for any purpose other than to process and respond to their request. However, USDA may disclose information to a Congressional office in response to an inquiry made on behalf of the requestor, to the Department of Justice, a court, other tribunal when the information is relevant and necessary to litigation, or to a contractor or another Federal agency to help accomplish a function related to this process.


Peer Review
Based on the review it has conducted, RMA believes that it does not currently produce or sponsor the distribution of influential scientific information (including highly influential scientific assessments) within the definitions promulgated by OMB. As a result, at this time RMA has no agenda of forthcoming influential scientific disseminations to post on its Web site in accordance with OMB's Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review.