There is increasing importance and sensitivity attached to data quality and integrity in the Federal Government, including administrative requirements for information technology systems, computer systems and Internet security. Both the Department of the Interior and the Fish and Wildlife Service published Information Quality Guidelines. The Service produced step-down Information Quality Guidelines (FWS 2002) to ensure the quality, objectivity and integrity of information disseminated by the agency. These guidelines are applicable to all Service offices that disseminate information to the public.
“Specifications and Guidelines for Quality Systems for Environmental Data Collection and Environmental Technology Programs” (ANSI/ASQC E4 1994) is a national consensus standard authorized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). It was developed by the American Society for Quality (ASQ) and provides a basis for planning, implementing, documenting, and assessing an effective quality system for collecting and evaluating environmental data (EPA 2000). This provides a recognized and accepted framework for a quality control plan that can be used to ensure that Service programs and decisions are supported by data of the type and quality needed.
It is clear from these guidelines that a system for quality assurance is needed for those Service programs that collect, analyze, report and distribute scientific information. This document provides the Service’s mission and goals for inventorying wetlands, deepwater and related habitats. It contains the standards to be used, discusses program limitations, establishes requirements for data quality and provides mechanisms for quality control implementation.
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