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Quality of Information

USDA has developed administrative mechanisms to allow affected persons to seek and obtain correction of information disseminated by USDA on or after October 1, 2002, regardless of when the information was first disseminated, that they believe does not comply with OMB or USDA Information Quality Guidelines. Requestors seeking a correction should follow the procedure described below.

The USDA Information Quality Guidelines correction mechanisms are not intended to imply any rights of individuals to request amendment of their own records beyond those permitted by the Privacy Act of 1974 or other organization specific laws.

Consult with the Contact Persons Listed in USDA Forest Service Reports and Products Before Filing a Formal Request for Correction

Most USDA Forest Service publications, reports, and data files include the names, telephone numbers, and/or e-mail addresses of knowledgeable staff who can assist users in understanding the information presented there and in determining whether, in fact, there is an error that warrants action via the formal correction process. Users of USDA Forest Service information may want to consult first with the contact person listed in the product before filing a formal request for correction. If no specific contact person is listed, users should contact the agency.

Where to Submit a Formal Request for Correction

Formal requests for correction of USDA Forest Service information must be submitted by e-mail to:

Requests for correction of information must include the following elements:

  • Statement that the Request for Correction of Information is Submitted Under USDA's Information Quality Guidelines
  • Requestor Contact Information
    The name, mailing address, telephone number, fax number (if any), e-mail address (if any), and organizational affiliation (if any) of the person requesting the correction.
  • Description of Information to Correct
    The name of the USDA publication, report, or data product; the date of issuance or other identifying information such as the URL of the web page; and a detailed description that clearly identifies the specific information contained in that publication, report, or data product for which a correction is being sought. 
  • Explanation of Noncompliance with OMB and/or USDA Information Quality Guidelines
    An explanation that describes how the information fails to meet either the OMB or USDA Information Quality Guidelines.
  • Explanation of the Effect of the Alleged Error
    An explanation that describes the requestor's use of the information in question and how the requestor is affected by the alleged error.
  • Recommendation and Justification for How the Information Should Be Corrected
    The requestor should state specifically how the information should be corrected and explain why the corrections should be made. A request for correction that is specific and provides evidence to support the need for correction is likely to be more persuasive than a request that is general, unfocused, or that simply indicates disagreement with the information in question.

This guidance for the content of requests for correction of information is not intended to constitute a set of legally binding requirements. However, USDA may be unable to process, in a timely fashion or at all, requests that omit one or more of the requested elements. Requestors bear the "burden of proof" with respect to the necessity for correction as well as with respect to the type of correction they seek. USDA will base its decision on the merits of the information provided by the requestor.

For more information on process and procedure relating to requests for correction or reconsideration visit the USDA Information Quality Guidelines Website.