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Section 515 - Introduction to Data Quality

Section 515 - An Introduction to Data Quality

An important part of the work of most federal agencies includes the collection and dissemination of information related to their missions. The Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35) establishes requirements for many of those agencies regarding various aspects of their collection and dissemination of information.

In December 2000, a law took effect (section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001, Public Law 106-554), that requires agencies subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, including the General Services Administration (GSA), to issue guidelines by October 1, 2002, for the purpose of "ensuring and maximizing the quality, objectivity, utility and integrity of information (including statistical information) disseminated by federal agencies."

As part of the process of developing information quality guidelines for GSA, the agency has written a set of guidelines which were reviewed by the public. The purpose of this website is to post GSA's guidelines.

Information Covered by the Agency's Guidelines

The agency's guidelines generally cover information disseminated to the public in any media or format, including print, electronic, audio/visual, or other form. It covers both information shared by GSA, itself, or GSA-sponsored distribution of information to the public.

However, these guidelines do not govern all information of GSA, and also do not cover all information disseminated by GSA. For example, the guidelines generally do not cover:

  • Internal information;
  • Information collected or developed by the agency that is not disseminated to the public, including documents intended only for inter-agency or intra-agency communications;
  • Research findings published by grantees, unless GSA -
    • Represents or uses the information as the official position of GSA, or in support of the official position of the agency
    • Has authority to review and approve the information before release
    • Directs that the information be disseminated;

Learn more about information quality standards on the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) website. Send questions or comments to: section515@gsa.gov


Section 515, Data Quality, Information Correction