COMMERCE FY 2004 Information Quality Report
Requests for Correction Received FY 2004
Department Name: U.S. Department of Commerce
Period Covered: October 1, 2003 to September 30, 2004.
Web page location of agency information quality correspondence:
Number of Requests Received
National Oceanic and
and Information Administration
• Agency Receiving Correction Request: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce
• Requestor: The Associated Fisheries of Maine, Inc. and the Trawlers Survival Fund, represented by the law firm of Brand and Frulla, 923 Fifteenth Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20005.
• Date Received: Date on the letterhead: October 16, 2003. Date-stamped on receipt: October 16, 2003 (official receipt). Also, hand-delivered to Office of the Director, NOAA Marine Fisheries Service (non-effective).
• Summary of Request: This was a request to cease dissemination of the revised biological reference points for the northeast multispecies stock complex (“New England groundfish”) contained in the draft document for Amendment 13 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (“Draft Amendment 13”). The revised biological reference points contained in Draft Amendment 13 were developed in February 2002, by the Working Group on Re-Evaluation of Biological Reference Points for New England Groundfish (“Working Group”). The request alleged that the revised biological reference points contained in Draft Amendment 13 violate the utility and objectivity standards of the NOAA and OMB Information Quality Guidelines.
• Description of Requested Correction: This was a request to cease dissemination and hence to suspend or cancel the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan.
• Influential: ____Yes ____ No X Undetermined. It was not necessary to make this determination in order to address the request fully and in detail.
• First Agency Response: ____ in progress X completed December 15, 2003.
• Resolution: The request was denied because it was found that the information in question was in compliance with all applicable guidelines
• Judicial Review: X none ____yes ______ in progress.
• Appeal Request: ____ none ____ in progress X completed March 12, 2004.
Date on the appeal letterhead: January 14, 2004. Date-stamped on receipt in Executive Secretariat: January 14, 2004 (official receipt). Also, hand-delivered to Office of the Director, NOAA Marine Fisheries Service (non-effective).
• Summary of Request for Reconsideration: The appeal raised six issues, some of them new: 1. Independence of one member of the peer review panel. 2. "Usefulness" of the reference points. 3. Whether the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) considered the age structured production model (ASPM) approach suggested by Dr. Butterworth of the University of Cape Town, South Africa. 4. Whether the "best available science" must be unique to the exclusion of all other approaches. 5. The meaning of "best available science" as it relates to the evaluation of Dr. Butterworth’s method. 6. Whether NOAA has been open to investigation of Dr. Butterworth's work.
• Type of Appeal Process Used: Review was by a senior official with assistance from individuals not involved in the original decision.
• Appeal Resolution: The Appeal Response denied the appeal, on grounds that the peer reviewers were selected by an independent panel; that, despite requestor's assertions, "there is no evidence that the reference points are wrong" but merely different from others proposed by requestor and also well-supported by reviewers; that the Working Group evaluated a number of approaches and concluded that the models eventually employed for each stock were most appropriate based on available data and individual stock dynamics, and how well the data and stock dynamics met the assumptions of the selected model; that requestor's fourth and fifth contentions were based on "a misperception of the meaning of 'best available science;'" and that it is "important that Dr. Butterworth submit his work to a peer review body of independent experts" like that relied upon for the reference points used by NOAA.
• Agency Receiving Correction Request: National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce
• Requestor: The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness and Jim Tozzi, President, Multinational Business Services, Inc. (hereinafter, the Petitioners)
• Date Received: August 10, 2004, by FAX and by first-class mail
• Summary of Request: The Petitioners requested that NTIA require changes to certain 2002 and 2003 audited financial statements issued by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The Petitioners claimed that the Data Quality Act and NTIA’s implementing guidelines permit interested persons to request information corrections to these ICANN documents by virtue of the Department’s Memorandum of Understanding with ICANN and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions contract.
• Description of Requested Correction: The Petitioners requested that NTIA require changes to certain 2002 and 2003 audited financial statements issued by ICANN.
• Influential: ____Yes ____ No __X__ Undetermined. As the documents to which the Petitioners sought changes do not constitute information disseminated by NTIA, no such determination was made by the agency.
• First Agency Response: ____ in progress __X__ completed. On August 30, 2004, Mr. Charles Franz, Chief Information Officer (Acting), advised the Petitioners that the documents to which they sought changes did not constitute information disseminated by NTIA, and that, to the extent that they had concerns or questions regarding ICANN’s financial data, the Petitioners should direct such inquiries to appropriate officials at ICANN.
• Resolution: No action was taken on Petitioners’ request.
• Judicial Review: __X__none ____yes ______ in progress.
• Appeal Request: ____ none ____ in progress __X__ completed. On September 29, 2004, Petitioners appealed NTIA’s initial decision, requesting that the Assistant Secretary (1) issue a declaratory statement that ICANN is subject to the Data Quality Act, and (2) require ICANN to place an explanatory note on its Web site regarding its financial statements, including how the corporation details accounts receivable. On November 24, 2004, Assistant Secretary Michael D. Gallagher affirmed the agency’s initial decision, thus denying Petitioners’ appeal.
• Summary of Request for Reconsideration: N/A
• Type of Appeal Process Used: NTIA’s implementing guidelines provide that an appeal from an initial denial must be made within 30 calendar days of the date of the initial decision. The appeal must be in writing and addressed to the Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, who will decide whether the information should be corrected based on all the information presented in the appeal and the evidence collected by the operating unit pertaining to that appeal. Requesters are not afforded an opportunity for an in-person hearing. The Assistant Secretary must communicate his/her decision within 60 calendar days after receipt of the appeal.
• Appeal Resolution: On November 24, 2004, the Assistant Secretary Michael D. Gallagher affirmed NTIA’s initial decision that the agency’s implementing guidelines do not apply to the audited ICANN financial statements, thus denying Petitioners’ appeal.
- Questions regarding this section may be directed to the Good Guidance - Information Quality Administrator