The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) disseminates a variety of information to the public. Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 [Public Law 106-554] requires Federal agencies to issue guidelines ensuring and maximizing the quality, utility, objectivity, and integrity of disseminated information.
While Federal agencies have disseminated information to the public for decades, that information was principally disseminated by making paper copies. Now, however, the Internet has changed that way of communicating.
The Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) requires the agency Chief Information Officer (CIO) must manage information resources to "improve the integrity, quality, and utility of information to all users within and outside the agency, including capabilities for ensuring dissemination of public information, public access to government information, and protections for privacy and security." Section 515 builds upon the existing Government-wide responsibility to ensure information quality.
This guidance is used to ensure and maximize the quality of disseminated information. These guidelines are based on the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidelines published in the Federal Register on September 28, 2001, January 3, 2002, and February 22, 2002. Refer to Federal Register Vol. 67, No. 36, page 8452, February 22, 2002, "Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Information Disseminated by Federal Agencies; Republication."
This document provides the process that the FLETC will use for disseminating quality information.
Disseminated information refers to information FLETC posts on the Internet. This information may be disseminated to the public in any medium including textual, graphic, narrative, numerical, or audiovisual forms. This also includes information where the FLETC directs a third party to distribute information.
The guidelines do not override other compelling interests such as privacy, trade secrets, intellectual property, and other confidential protections, nor do they create or establish any legal rights.
These guidelines do not apply to hyperlinks to information (non-FLETC sources) that others disseminate. In addition, the guidelines do not apply to opinions where the FLETC makes it clear that the material is an opinion or the agency’s view rather than fact. Further, the guidelines do not apply to information disseminated in the following contexts:
- Intra- or inter-agency use or sharing of government information.
- Correspondence with individual persons, press releases, archival records, public filings, subpoenas or adjudicative processes.
- Response to requests for agency records under the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, the Federal Advisory Committee Act, or other similar laws.
- Information presented to Congress (as part of the legislative or oversight processes; e.g., testimony of officials, information or drafting assistance provided to Congress in connection with pending or proposed legislation) that is not simultaneously disseminated to the public; and
- Procedural, operational, policy and internal manuals prepared for the management and operations of the FLETC that are not primarily intended for public dissemination.
Administrative Complaint Process
This section establishes an administrative complaint process allowing affected persons to seek and obtain, where appropriate, timely correction of information maintained and disseminated by the FLETC. This administrative complaint process has been designed to be flexible, appropriate to the nature and timeliness of the disseminated information, and incorporated into FLETC’s information resources management and administrative practices.
Any "affected person" ("Person") may request from the FLETC the timely correction of information that the FLETC has disseminated. For the purposes of these guidelines, affected persons are persons who may benefit or be harmed by the disseminated information. This includes persons who are seeking to address information about themselves as well as persons who use the disseminated information.
Documents and information disseminated but neither authored by the FLETC nor adopted as representing the FLETC's views are not covered by these guidelines.
If an affected person believes that disseminated information does not conform to Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Department of Homeland Security, or FLETC's guidelines, that person may submit a written request for correction to the Disclosure Officer at the following address:
Information Quality Correction Request
1131 Chapel Crossing Road
Glynco, GA 31524
Building 94, Suite 200
The request should include the following information:
- Description of the information deemed to need correction.
- Manner disseminated and, if available, date of dissemination.
- Specific error(s) cited for correction and proposed correction or remedy, if any.
- Manner in which the information does not comply with the information quality guidelines.
- How the person was affected and how correction would benefit them.
- Supporting documentary evidence, such as comparable data or research results on the same topic, which will help in evaluating the merits of the request
- The person’s contact information for the agency reply on whether and how correction will be made.
Privacy Act Notice:
We are authorized to collect the information you provide 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). It is needed to process your request and allow us to reply accordingly. You do not have to furnish the information, but failure to do so may prevent your request from being processed. The information you furnish is primarily used for any purpose other than to process and respond to your request. However, the FLETC may disclose information you give (e.g., to Congressional office) if authorized or required by Federal law.
If the appropriate responsible official determines that a request does not reasonably describe the disseminating information source and the information the Person asserts to be incorrect, that official will either advise the Person what additional information is needed to identify the particular information or otherwise state why the request is insufficient.
The FLETC will not review requests for correction under these guidelines if:
- The request itself is deemed "frivolous," including those for which a response would be duplicative of existing processes, or otherwise unnecessary, or unduly burdensome. More information on this subject may be found in the Federal Register (Federal Register Vol. 66, September 28, 2001).
- The party that submitted the request is not an "affected person."
- The responsible officials should respond to requests for correction within 60 calendar days of receipt. When the request requires an extended period of time for processing, the FLETC will notify the Person.
- If the request is approved, the FLETC will take corrective action. The FLETC will notify the Person whether a request is approved or not. The FLETC may, on a case-by-case basis, elect not to correct some completed information products due to administrative considerations.
In the event Persons are not satisfied with the FLETC's determination, they may appeal the decision. The availability of an appeal process will be included in the notification issued during the request process.
After the Person receives a response or decision from the agency on the request, the Person must send their appeal of the ruling within 45 calendar days of the date of the FLETC’s notification.
Appeals should be sent in writing to the Deputy Chief Information Officer (DCIO) at the following address:
Information Quality Appeal
Deputy Chief Information Officer
1131 Chapel Crossing Road
Glynco, GA 31524
Building: 94, Suite 200
Appeals for reconsideration should contain the following information:
- An indication that the Person is seeking an appeal of a FLETC decision on a previously submitted request for a correction of information, including the date of the original submission and date of the FLETC notification.
- Name and contact information. Organizations submitting an appeal should identify an individual as a contact.
- An explanation of why the Person disagrees with the agency decision, and, if possible, a recommendation of corrective action.
- A copy of the initial request for the correction of information.
The DCIO will respond to appeals within 60 calendar days receipt. If the appeal requires an extended period of time for processing, the FLETC will notify the Person.
The DCIO will consider the request, agency response, appeal, and any other documents in the record. Upon reaching a decision, the DCIO will notify the Person in writing of the final disposition of his or her request. If the DCIO reverses an initial adverse decision, the matter will be referred to the appropriate function for corrective action to be taken. However, the FLETC may, on a case-by-case basis, elect not to correct some completed information products due to administrative considerations.
Laws, Regulations, and References
- Public Law 106-554; H.R. 5658, "Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001, Section 515."
- Public Law 104-13, "Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995."
- Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 8200.1 (Information Quality)
- Federal Register Vol. 66, September 28, 2001, "Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Information Disseminated by Federal Agencies."
- Federal Register Vol. 67, No. 2, page 369, January 3, 2002, "Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Information Disseminated by Federal Agencies; Final Guidelines."
- Federal Register Vol. 67, No. 36, page 8452, February 22, 2002, "Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Information Disseminated by Federal Agencies; Republication."