Information is a critical Department of Transportation (DOT) resource, second only to human resources. It is vital not only to DOT's daily operations; it is an essential element in fulfilling our mission to ensure the safe, effective, and secure operation of the entire transportation system. Further, in the course of our work, we generate a wide variety of information and information products for public use, For example, we issue statistical reports, studies of important safety and other transportation issues, analyses of the costs and benefits of regulations and policies, scientific reports, environmental assessments, and many other documents. As public servants, we are obligated to ensure that all DOT information products consistently meet or exceed high standards of quality.
Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for the FY 2001 directed the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to issue government wide guidelines to Federal agencies for ensuring and maximizing the quality (objectivity, utility and integrity) of information disseminated by Federal agencies.
Consistent with OMB's guidelines, the Department has drafted agency-wide guidelines to establish and apply high standards of quality (objectivity, utility, and integrity) to government information prior to public dissemination. The guidelines (which can be found on DOTNet, under "On-Line Policies") also guarantee affected members of the public the opportunity to request correction of perceived misinformation. Each operating administration is encouraged to further refine guidelines to reflect the nature and sensitivity of its specific information products.
I am urging all employees to make a strong commitment to apply high standards of quality with respect to all of our information products and services. Only by making information quality a regular part of our daily work can we fulfill this important obligation to the public. I am also calling upon senior managers, program officials and supervisors to provide the leadership needed to implement these guidelines. We must make information quality a high priority in order to fulfill our responsibilities to the American taxpayers.