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LEARN > Evidence Act Hub > The Information Quality Assurance Act: A Step Forward for Evidence-Based Policymaking

The Information Quality Assurance Act: A Step Forward for Evidence-Based Policymaking

In a significant development for evidence-informed policymaking, the House of Representatives recently passed the Information Quality Assurance Act (H.R.7219) with a strong bipartisan vote. This legislation aims to ensure that federal agencies rely on the best available information and evidence when developing rules and guidance. 

The Information Quality Assurance Act, introduced by Representatives Lisa C. McClain (R-MI) and Katie Porter (D-CA), encourages updates to strengthen guidelines for federal agencies regarding the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of influential information or evidence used in the rulemaking process. By requiring agencies to adhere to these updated guidelines, the bill promotes transparency and accountability in government decision-making.

Key Provisions H.R. 7219 include:

  1. White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Guideline Updates: The OMB Director will have one year to update guidelines that provide policy and procedural guidance to agency heads for maximizing the quality of influential information or evidence used.

  2. Agency Guideline Updates: Agency heads will then have one year to update their own guidelines, ensuring agencies rely on the best reasonably-available information and evidence when developing or issuing rules and guidance.

  3. Administrative Mechanisms: Agencies will be required to establish mechanisms for the public to seek corrections of influential information or evidence that does not comply with the updated guidelines.

  4. Disclosure Requirements: Agencies will be required to disclose models, methodologies, and sources relied upon in the rulemaking docket or guidance administrative record, identifying whether they constitute influential information or evidence. Some exceptions apply for sensitive or protected information.

  5. Key Definitions: The legislation provides clear definitions for terms such as "evidence" and "influential information or evidence" to ensure consistent application across agencies.

By requiring agencies to rely on high-quality, reliable information and evidence, the Information Quality Assurance Act fills an important need in promoting evidence-informed policymaking, enhancing public trust in government decision-making, and facilitating efforts that will lead to better outcomes for the American public.

The Data Foundation applauds the House of Representatives for taking this important step and encourages the Senate to follow suit. The Data Foundation recognizes that the Information Quality Assurance Act will help foster a culture of data-driven decision-making within the federal government, ultimately leading to more effective policies and programs.

“The Information Quality Assurance Act will help ensure that federal agencies rely on high-quality information and evidence when crafting rules and guidance, promoting transparency and accountability in government decision-making,” said Nick Hart, President of the Data Foundation.  “The Senate should seize this opportunity and pass this crucial bill, which will undoubtedly lead to better outcomes for our country. The Data Foundation remains committed to advancing the use of data and evidence in policymaking, and we look forward to working with Congress and stakeholders to make this vision a reality."

As an organization committed to advancing the use of data and evidence in policymaking, the Data Foundation will continue to monitor the progress of this legislation and advocate for its passage. We invite our members, partners, coalition groups, and the public to join us in supporting this crucial effort to promote transparency, accountability, and evidence-based policymaking in the federal government.

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