Information Quality Act

Image: Environmental Protection Agency

(sometimes called the Data Quality Act) requires that all materials relied upon or distributed by federal agencies be of the highest “quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity.”

Under Office of Management & Budget guidelines, each federal agency has adopted rules for handling complaints calling for the correction or retraction of official materials that violate information quality standards and appeals if a complaint is denied. 

PEER has filed many Information Quality complaints, usually on behalf of federal scientists, because they – 

    • Force an agency to directly confront, rather than continue ignoring, methodological challenges raised by their own specialists. 
    • Can trigger an independent review of agency claims. While there is no judicial review of Information Quality Act complaints, many agencies provide for convening independent review panels to consider appeals of complaints initially denied by an agency. 
    • Constitute an alleged violation of law and agency policies, thus conferring whistleblower status on the complainant and thereby elevating an internal dispute into dissent safeguarded under the Whistleblower Protection Act.  

Since there are few other tools to compel federal agencies to be honest and unbiased, as detailed in the news releases below, PEER has used Information Quality Act complaints to protect endangered wildlife ranging from Florida panthers to sea turtles, and to address safety and health threats ranging from artificial turf to tsunamis. 

Citation: The Information Quality Act (also known as the Information Quality Act), Section 515 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2001

IQA NEWS FROM PEER

Park Service Slashes Sea Turtle Rescue Program

Hatchling Releases, Stranding Response, and Research Cut at Padre Island

USGS Fumbles Its Biological Collections

Belated New Policy Leaves Troves of Scientific Specimens in Limbo

EPA Fumbles Artificial Turf Science

Agency Had No Scientific Basis for Downplaying Toxic Exposure Risks

Coyote Control Based on Scientific House of Cards

Complaint Seeks to End Federal Reliance on Flawed 42-Year-Old Study

Grand Canyon Cattalo Status Obscured by Science Shell Game

NPS Paper Claiming Hybrids as Native Wildlife Dropped but Successor Still in Wings

Political Science Herding Grand Canyon Cattalo

Park Service Should Not Classify Hybridized Beefalo as Native Wildlife

BLM Dumbing Down Reports on Livestock Range Conditions

Complaint Demands Restoration of Data Quantifying and Qualifying Grazing Effects

EPA Retracts Synthetic Turf Safety Assurances

New Agency Posting Stresses Uncertainty amid Wide Range of Chemical Exposures

Feds Should Drop Synthetic Turf Safety Assurances

Newer Studies on Risks, Especially for Children, Absent from Official Assessments

Hawaii Tsunami Response Gets Mixed Federal Signals

NOAA Wants Tsunami Warning Center Relocated Where Navy Says to Evacuate

“DISINFORMATION SYNDROME” AFFLICTS FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

Officials Routinely Rewarded for Lying and Punished for Telling the Truth

AGENCY ADMITS PANTHER WHISTLEBLOWER WAS RIGHT

Fish & Wildlife Service Persists in Trying to Fire Vindicated Scientist

U.S. FISH & WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST CHARGES SCIENTIFIC FRAUD

Florida Panther Habitat and Population Data Skewed to Allow Development

FISH AND WILDLIFE DIRECTOR OVERRULES HIS OWN SCIENTIFIC PANEL

Allows Continued Hunting of Rare Trumpeter Swans

ARMY CORPS SUED ON MISSISSIPPI BARGE PLAN

Economic Plan on Controversial $2.5 Billion Project Flawed

CORPS ECONOMIC MODELS FOR MISSISSIPPI NOT PEER REVIEWED

Troubled Study Violates Data Quality Act

FOREST SERVICE ADMITS WHISTLEBLOWER RESEARCH

Concedes That Half of Forests Will Never Be Restored

Forest Service Stifled Ecological History

Ignores Own Ecological Records

TRUMPETER SWAN DATA UNDER FIRE FWS

Finding Relied on Invented and Distorted Studies

CORPS VIOLATES DATA QUALITY ACT

Government-wide Rules for Review of Studies Not Implemented