Information Quality Guidelines
Ensuring the Quality and Credibility of Information
Science is the
foundation upon which conservation decisions are made in the Southwest
Region and providing high quality information to the public is one of
our main objectives. We adhere to the goal of strengthening the Service's
tradition of scientific excellence and information quality in the conservation
of fish, wildlife, plants and their habitat.
On this web site, the Southwest Region publishes information about influential and highly influential scientific information1. We provide
links to the Service's guidelines for ensuring the quality, objectivity,
utility, and integrity of information that we use and disseminate. We
also link to mechanisms for allowing the public to seek correction of
The Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to using sound science in its decision-making and to providing the American public with information of the highest quality possible.
Federal agencies are required to publish guidelines for ensuring the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information we use and disseminate, and to provide mechanisms for allowing the public to seek correction of that information. This web site is intended to meet those requirements.
Southwest Region Peer Review of Scientific Information
Section 515 of Public Law 106-554 (the Information Quality Act)
Department of the Interior's Information Quality Guidelines (pdf)
Fish and Wildlife Service Information Quality Guidelines (pdf)
"A scientific assessment is an evaluation of a body of scientific or technical knowledge that typically synthesizes multiple factual inputs, data, models, assumptions, and/or applies best professional judgment to bridge uncertainties in the available information." (Office of Management and Budget Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review, December 16, 2004)
Highly Influential, Novelty, Controversial, Precedent Setting
"A scientific assessment is considered 'highly influential' if the Service or the Administrator of OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs determines that the dissemination could have a potential impact of more than $500 million, in any one year, on either the public or private sector or that the dissemination is novel, controversial, or precedent-setting, or has significant interagency interest. 'Novelty' refers to the characteristic of being new and not resembling something formerly known or used. 'Controversial' refers to the characteristic of generating discussion marked especially by the expression of opposing views. 'Precedent setting' refers to the characteristic of serving as an example or rule to authorize or justify a subsequent act of the same or an analogous kind." ("Implementation of OMB's Peer Review Bulletin," Attachment II; memorandum from Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Dec. 15, 2005)
"FWS information Quality Guidelines also state that the Service will generally consider the following classes of information to be influential: information disseminated in support of the Director's decisions or actions (e.g., rules, substantive notices, policy documents, studies, guidance), and issues that are highly controversial or have cross-agency interest or affect cross-agency policies." ("Implementation of OMB's Peer Review Bulletin," Attachment II; memorandum from Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Dec. 15, 2005)