Procedure to Seek Correction of Information Under Section 515

Do not seek correction of personal information through the procedures described below.

To ensure quality, objectivity, utility and integrity of information

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued government wide guidelines under Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Public Law 106-554). OMB's guidelines were published in the Federal Register in Volume 66, No 189 on Friday, September 28, 2001, and updated in Volume 2, No. 67 on Thursday, January 3, 2002. Each federal agency is responsible for issuing its own Section 515 guidelines. As a result, the General Services Administration (GSA) has developed corresponding information quality guidelines.

What information is subject to the Information Quality Guidelines?

Information that is subject to the Information Quality Guidelines includes:

  • Statistical or actuarial information;
  • Studies and summaries prepared for public dissemination to inform the public about the impact of the General Services Administration programs;
  • Studies and summaries prepared for use in formulating broad program policy.

What information is NOT subject to the Information Quality Guidelines?

Information that is not subject to the Information Quality Guidelines includes:

  • Personal information received as a result of agency adjudicative decisions;
  • Information pertaining to basic agency operations;
  • Program publications, such as pamphlets and notices, that explain benefit programs and how to apply for benefits;
  • Procedural and policy manuals;
  • Management information that is produced primarily for internal use.

How can I correct information that is subject to the Information Quality Guidelines?

Procedure to Seek Correction of Information Disseminated By the General Services Administration Under Section 515 of Public Law 106-554

Background

In accordance with Section 515 of Public Law 106-554, codified at 44 U.S.C. § 3516, note that GSA has developed mechanisms to allow affected persons to seek and obtain correction of information maintained and disseminated by this agency.

Procedures for seeking correction of information

To seek a correction under Section 515 of information maintained or disseminated by GSA, follow the procedures described below in sending email to GSA: section515@gsa.gov.

Required information

Statement
Include a statement that the request for correction of information is submitted under Section 515 of Public Law 106-554.

Request or contact information
Include: name, mailing address, fax number, or email address, telephone number and organizational affiliation, if any. This information is needed to respond to your request and initiate follow-up contact with you, if required. Do not send us your Social Security number.

Description of incorrect information
Clearly indicate the information you believe is in error and should be corrected. Describe the reasons why the information is not consistent with GSA or OMB standards. Include the name of the report or data product where the information is located, the date of issuance, and a detailed description of the information to be corrected. Present substitute information, if any, with an explanation showing that such information is consistent with the OMB guidelines and the GSA implementing guidelines.

Reasons why information should be corrected
Include specific reasons why the information should be corrected and, if possible, specify how the information should be corrected. Requests for correction that are specific and provide evidence to support the need for correction will help GSA provide a satisfactory response. Supporting documentary evidence, such as comparable data or research results on the same topic, will help in the review of the request. You may also email information to us at: section515@gsa.gov.

Any member of the public who files a request for correction under this paragraph has the burden of proof with respect to the necessity for correction, as well as with respect to the type of correction requested.

If a member of the public complains about information set forth or referenced in a GSA or GSA-sponsored document and does not request correction under the OMB or GSA guidelines, then the complaint is not subject to processing as a request for correction under those guidelines.

Review of the request

Based on a review of the information provided, GSA will determine whether a correction is warranted, and, if so, what action to take. Any corrective action will be determined by the nature and timeliness of the information involved and such factors as the significance of the correction on the use of the information and the magnitude of the correction. GSA will respond to the requestor in writing within 60 days of receipt of the complaint. If the information quality complaint requires more than 60 calendar days to resolve, GSA will inform the complainant that more time is required and indicate the reason why, with an estimated decision date. GSA will respond to all requests for appeals within 60 calendar days of receipt. If the request requires more than 60 calendar days to resolve, GSA will inform the complainant that more time is required and indicate the reason why, with an estimated decision date.

Incomplete requests
If a request for correction is incomplete, GSA may seek clarification from the person submitting the request or return it without prejudice to resubmission.

Public notice of a request for correction
In selected cases, GSA may publish notice of the receipt of a request for correction and may invite public comment.

Participation by other interested persons
By letter, GSA may invite or allow other interested persons to comment on a request for correction.

Initial decisions
If the request for correction concerns information that does not involve a document subject to public comment, then the originating office of the GSA element responsible for dissemination of the information should provide at least an initial response within 90 days (with a copy to the CIO). The response should contain a statement of reasons for the disposition.

Administrative Appeals
In the event GSA initially denies a request for correction of information not subject to public comment and the person who submitted the request would like additional review, then that person must submit a request for review, including a statement of reasons for modifying or reversing the initial decision, no later than 30 days from the date of that decision. A request for review under this paragraph must be submitted via email to: section515@gsa.gov. The OCIO will direct the request for review to the GSA element which supervises the originating GSA program office, and the GSA element, with the concurrence of the Office of General Counsel, should issue a final decision for GSA (with a copy to the CIO) within 90 days from the date that the request for review is received.

Any corrective action will be determined by the nature and timeliness of the information and the magnitude of the error. GSA organizational elements are not required to change, or in any way alter, the content or status of information simply based on the receipt of a request for correction. GSA organizational elements need not respond substantively to frivolous or repetitive requests for correction. Nor do GSA organizational elements have to respond substantively to requests that concern information not covered by the OMB or GSA Guidelines or from a person whom the information does not affect.

If GSA determines that a request for correction of information not subject to public comment has merit, GSA may respond by correcting the information in question without issuing a decision explaining the reasons for accepting the request.

If GSA receives multiple requests for correction of information not subject to public comment, GSA may consolidate the requests and respond on a GSA website, or by notice in the Federal Register, or by issuing a correction in similar form and manner as the original information was issued.

Right to Appeal Decision

If GSA denies a request for correction, the requestor will be granted an administrative appeal.

Right to Appeal Decision
If GSA denies a request for correction, the requestor will be granted an administrative appeal.

Correction Requests Received

Correction requests received by GSA and their disposition.

Privacy Act Statement

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 almost never used for any purpose other than to process and respond to your request. However, we may disclose information to a congressional office in response to an inquiry made on your behalf to the Department of Justice, a court, or 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.

Paperwork Reduction Act Statement

This information collection meets the clearance requirements of 44 U.S.C. § 3507, as amended by Section 2 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. You are not required to answer these questions unless we display a valid Office of Management and Budget control number. We estimate that it will take you about 15 minutes to gather the necessary facts and answer the questions.

Contact Us

You may email us at Section515@gsa.gov.

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