Quality of Information

Last Modified: March 29, 2024

In order to ensure the quality, objectivity, utility and objectivity of information, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has established procedures to allow members of the public to seek and obtain correction of information it disseminates. APHIS has done this in accordance with Section 515 of Public Law 106-554, codified at 44 U.S.C. 3516, and in accordance with USDA’s Quality of Information Guidelines.

Information to be Submitted with a Request for Correction

To seek a correction of information, please submit a written request as follows:

  • State that your request for correction of information is submitted under Section 515 of Public Law 106-554 or under USDA's Information Quality Guidelines.  
  • Include your name, mailing address, fax number (or email address), telephone number, and organizational affiliation, if any.  
  • Clearly describe the information you believe to be in error and want corrected. Include the name of APHIS’ publication, report or information product, the date of its issuance, and a detailed description of the information you feel should be corrected.  
  • State in detail why you feel the information should be corrected and, if possible, recommend specifically how it should be corrected. Please clarify which USDA Information Quality Guidelines were not followed or were not sufficient. Provide documentary evidence, such as comparable data, which will help in our review.  
  • Explain how you use the information and how you have been harmed by the alleged error.

We do not intend this guidance to be a set of legally binding requirements. However, we may be unable to meet your request in a timely fashion, or at all, if you omit one or more of these elements. We do not intend to imply that, as an individual, you have any rights to request amendment of your own records beyond those permitted by the Privacy Act of 1974 or other organization specific laws. 

Where to Submit a Formal Request for Correction

Please submit your request for correction of APHIS information by letter, fax, or email to:

Bridget Cooper 
Quality of Information Officer 
USDA/APHIS/Policy and Program Development, Unit 120 
Riverdale, MD 20737 
Fax: 301-734-5899 
Email: bridget.m.cooper@usda.gov

Agency Review of Requests

Based on its review of the information you provide, APHIS will:

  • Determine whether a correction is warranted and, if so, what action to take. The nature, influence, and timeliness of the information involved, the significance of the correction, and the magnitude of the effort will be considered in deciding the level of review and any corrective action. 
  • Respond to you by letter, email, or fax within 20 working days. Our response will explain the findings of the review and the actions we will take. If your request will require more than 20 working days to resolve, we will state the reason for the additional time and provide an estimated decision date. 
  • Inform you of your appeal rights and the appeal process, if your request will not be met. 

We are continually seeking to improve our Quality of Information Guidelines. Please submit comments and suggestions about these guidelines to: Connie Williams, Quality of Information Officer.

Public Disclosure of Requests for Correction of Information Disseminated by APHIS and Requests for Reconsideration of Decisions

Requests for Correction of Information Received by APHIS-2018

Requests for Reconsideration Received by APHIS-2018