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Statistical Quality Standard F3: Addressing Information Quality Guideline Complaints

Purpose: The purpose of this standard is to ensure that complaints alleging that information products are not in compliance with the Census Bureau’s Information Quality Guidelines are addressed.

Scope: The Census Bureau’s statistical quality standards apply to all information products released by the Census Bureau and the activities that generate those products, including products released to the public, sponsors, joint partners, or other customers. All Census Bureau employees and Special Sworn Status individuals must comply with these standards; this includes contractors and other individuals who receive Census Bureau funding to develop and release Census Bureau information products.

In particular, this standard applies to information products released by the Census Bureau for which a party outside the Census Bureau alleges that the Census Bureau has not adhered to its information quality guidelines.

In addition to the global exclusions listed in the Preface, this standard does not apply to:

  • Information released by the Census Bureau before October 1, 2002.

Key Terms: Information products, information quality, and releases of information products.

Requirement F3-1: Complaints must be reviewed by the program manager responsible for the information product being challenged.

Note: The Census Bureau Information Quality Web site contains the correction procedures complainants must follow to submit complaints for information they believe does not comply with the Census Bureau’s Information Quality Guidelines.

Requirement F3-2: Except as noted below, program managers must follow the procedure in Appendix F3 to investigate and resolve complaints.

Note: These programs have developed correction procedures specific to their information products and must follow their own correction procedures. The appeals process, when not separately defined in the program’s procedures, will be managed as stated in Appendix F3.

  • Count Question Resolution (CQR).
  • Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA).
  • Governmental Unit Boundaries.
  • Street and Address Range Information.
  • Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE).
  • Annual Estimates of the Total Population.
  • Foreign Trade Statistics.

Requirement F3-3: Corrected information must be readily accessible on the Census Bureau’s Internet Web site (www.census.gov) and subsequent issues of recurring information products, including subsequent annual reports, must reflect the corrected data.

Note: Because the Information Quality Guidelines under which these corrections will occur are for statistical information released after October 1, 2002, any correction of historical data suggested by a complaint with which the Census Bureau concurs will be performed at the discretion of the program area.

Requirement F3-4: In the case of a serious error that could potentially mislead policy makers, any published reports containing the erroneous data must be reissued.

Requirement F3-5: Complaints and the resulting actions must be documented by the program manager and submitted to the Chair of the Methodology and Standards Council.

Page Last Revised - December 16, 2021
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