Information Quality Guidelines


Subject to DOI's Information Quality Guidelines

  • Except for those categories of information that are specifically exempted from coverage (see below), these guidelines apply to all information disseminated by DOI and DOI initiated or sponsored dissemination of information by DOI grantees, contractors, or cooperators on or after October 1, 2002, regardless of when the information was first disseminated. 
  • These guidelines apply to all media, including printed, electronic, or other form. 
  • These guidelines apply not only to information that DOI generates, but also to information that DOI disseminates that was provided by or obtained from outside parties and which DOI adopts, endorses, or uses to formulate or support a regulation, guidance, or other agency decision or position. 
  • Some information products released prior to October 1, 2002 continue to be used for decision-making or are relied on by DOI agencies or offices and the public as official, authoritative, government information. This information is, in effect, constantly being re-disseminated and is thus subject to these Guidelines. Previously released information products that do not meet these criteria are considered archived information and thus are not subject to these Guidelines.

These guidelines are not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legally binding regulations or mandates. The guidelines do not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or equity, by any party against the United States, its agencies (including DOI or any DOI bureau or office), officers, or employees or any persons.


Not Subject to DOI's Information Quality Guidelines

Most of the categories of information listed below are exempted from coverage by OMB's guidelines. In the case of internal manuals and material presented to Congress that has been disseminated elsewhere, DOI is adding categories of information that the OMB guidelines do not specifically exempt. The following categories of information are not subject to DOI's Information Quality Guidelines.

  • Press Releases. These Information Quality Guidelines do not apply to press releases, fact sheets, press conferences or similar communications in any medium that announce, support the announcement, or give public notice of information DOI has disseminated elsewhere.
  • Public Filings. Information in public filings to the Department (such as public comments received by the Department in rulemaking proceedings), except where the Department distributes information submitted by a third party in a manner that suggests that the Department endorses or adopts the information, or indicates in its distribution that it is using or proposing to use the information to formulate or support a regulation, guidance, or other Departmental decision or position.
  • Exclusion for Agency Employed Scientist, Grantee, or Contractor.  Dissemination of information by an agency-employed scientist, grantee, or contractor is not subject to the guidelines, in those situations in which they publish and communicate their research findings in the same manner as their academic colleagues, therefore not implying official Departmental endorsement of their views or findings.
  • Testimony and Other Submissions to Congress. Information presented or submitted to Congress which is simultaneously disseminated or previously disseminated to the public is exempt from these Information Quality Guidelines.
  • Inadvertent or Unauthorized Disclosure of Information intended Only for Inter-agency and Intra-agency Use or Communication. Documents in working form which are generated in day-to-day internal conduct of government business are exempt from these Information Quality Guidelines.
  • Correspondence with Individuals. An exchange of information between two individuals is not considered to be a dissemination.
  • Records Covered by Other Laws. Responses to requests for Departmental records under the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, the Federal Advisory Committee Act or similar laws are not included in these Information Quality Guidelines.
  • Archived Records and Information Disseminated Prior to October 1, 2002. Archived records of information disseminated and subsequently archived are exempt from the Guidelines. Note:  Information disseminated prior to October 1, 2002, but not archived and which is still being used in a decision-making process is not exempt from these Information Quality Guidelines.
  • Adjudicative Proceedings. Information contained in subpoenas or documents intended to be limited to adjudicative proceedings, including DOI adjudicatory orders, opinions, amicus and other briefs are exempt from these guidelines.

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