Office of the Chief Information Officer

United States Department of Agriculture

Information Quality Activities

“Improving Implementation of the Information Quality Act”

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum M-19-15 requires that Federal Agencies reinforce, clarify, and interpret agency responsibilities under the Information Quality Act (IQA).1 In 2002, the Office of Management and Budget issued Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility and Integrity of Information Disseminated by Federal Agencies2 ("Guidelines"). The principles and core responsibilities described in the Guidelines remain sound and relevant for agency practice; however, additional guidance is required to address changes in the information landscape and to incorporate best practices developed over time.  This Memorandum updates implementation of the Guidelines to reflect recent innovations in information generation, access, management, and use, and to help agencies address common problems with maintaining information quality.

USDA is committed to the requirements of and compliance with M-19-15:

Implementation Updates 1.2-1.4: Peer Review Bulletin
Implementation Updates 2.1, 2.2: Open Data
Implementation Updates 2.3-2.4: Extended/Secondary Use
Implementation Updates 2.5-2.6: Extended/Secondary Use
Implementation Updates 3.1-3.2:  Models/Machine Learning
Implementation Updates 3.3: Non-Federal Data
Implementation Updates 3.4 – 3.5: Privacy/Confidentiality

Follow our Progress at the IQ Community.

IQ Question: 202 267-8777

General Requirements

These general information quality guidelines apply to all types of information disseminated by USDA agencies and offices..

  • USDA will strive to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of the information that its agencies and offices disseminate to the public. 
  • USDA agencies and offices will adopt a basic standard of quality (including objectivity, utility, and integrity) and take appropriate steps to incorporate information quality criteria into their information dissemination practices. 
  • USDA agencies and offices will review the quality (including objectivity, utility, and integrity) of information before it is disseminated to ensure that it complies with the standards set forth in these Guidelines. 
  • USDA agencies and offices will treat information quality as integral to every step in their development of information, including creation, collection, maintenance, and dissemination. 
  • In accordance with OMB guidance, when collecting information that requires OMB clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act, USDA agencies and offices will demonstrate in the clearance package submitted to OMB that the information collection would result in information that will comply with OMB and USDA information quality guidelines.

The following information quality criteria comprise the general quality standards that USDA agencies and offices will follow in developing and reviewing information and disseminating it to the public.  


  • USDA agencies and offices will strive to ensure that the information they disseminate is substantively accurate, reliable, and unbiased and presented in an accurate, clear, complete, and unbiased manner. 
  • To the extent possible, consistent with confidentiality protections, USDA agencies and offices will identify the source of the information so that the public can assess whether the information is objective.



  • USDA agencies and offices will assess the usefulness of the information they disseminate to its intended users, including the public.
  • When transparency of information is relevant for assessing the information's usefulness from the public's perspective, USDA agencies and offices will ensure that transparency is addressed in their review of the information prior to its dissemination.
  • USDA agencies and offices will ensure that disseminated information is accessible to all persons pursuant to the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.


  • USDA agencies and offices will protect information they maintain from unauthorized access or revision to ensure that disseminated information is not compromised through corruption or falsification.
  • USDA agencies and offices will secure their information resources by implementing the programs and policies required by the Government Information Security Reform Act.
  • USDA agencies and offices will maintain the integrity of confidential information and comply with the statutory requirements to protect the information it gathers and disseminates.  These include: The Privacy Act of 1974, as amended; The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; The Computer Security Act of 1987; The Freedom of Information Act; and OMB Circulars A-123, A-127, and A-130.

The following Agencies and Staff Offices that have no peer review agenda to report in 2016:

  • Agencies
    Agricultural Marketing Service
    Agricultural Research Service
    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
    Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion
    Farm Service Agency
    Food and Nutrition Service
    Food Safety and Inspection Service
    Foreign Agricultural Service
    Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration
    National Agricultural Library
    National Agricultural Statistics Service
    National Institute of Food and Agriculture
    Natural Resources Conservation Service
    Risk Management Agency
    Rural Development
  • Staff Offices
    Departmental Management
    National Appeals Division
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
    Office of the Chief Financial Officer
    Office of the Chief Information Officer
    Office of Communications
    Office of Congressional Relations
    Office of Budget and Program Analysis
    Office of the Executive Secretariat
    Office of the General Counsel
    Office of the Inspector General