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Information Quality Standards

To ensure and maximize quality information, authors, reviewers and/or disseminators are to focus on three underlying requirements for quality: utility, objectivity and integrity of information.

Utility

In assessing the usefulness of information disseminated to the public, consider the uses of the information from the perspective of the public. When transparency of information is relevant for assessing information's usefulness from the public's perspective, address transparency when developing and reviewing the information. (Transparent refers to the clear, obvious and precise nature of the information.)

Objectivity

Objectivity involves two distinct elements: presentation and substance.

Presentation

Disseminate information in an accurate, clear, complete and unbiased manner. This involves presenting information within a proper context. Where appropriate, data should have full, accurate and transparent documentation, and should identify and disclose error sources affecting data quality.

In some instances, when disseminating certain types of information to the public, other information must also be disseminated in order to ensure an accurate, clear, complete and unbiased presentation. When appropriate:

Substance

Focus on ensuring accurate, reliable and unbiased information. In a scientific, financial or statistical context, generate the original and supporting data and develop the analytic results using sound statistical and research methods.

If data and analytic results have been subjected to formal, independent, external peer review, the information may generally be presumed to be of acceptable objectivity.

If agency-sponsored peer review is employed to help satisfy objectivity, the review process shall meet the general criteria for competent and credible peer review, namely:

When disseminating influential scientific, financial, or statistical information, include a high degree of transparency about data and methods to facilitate the reproducibility of such information by qualified third parties. To this end:

Influence

Within the Secret Service, influential data/information is that which has a genuinely clear and substantial impact at the national level and on major public and private policy decisions as they relate to federal law enforcement and the safeguarding of the payment and financial systems of the United States. The accuracy of this data is significant due to the critical nature of these decisions.

Integrity

Protect information from unauthorized access or revision, to prevent corruption or falsification of information. Comply with government, department and bureau security requirements, and OMB Circulars A-123, A-127, and A-130 when disseminating information.