Under Office of Management and Budget (OMB) information quality requirements, individuals may challenge the accuracy of information disseminated by a federal agency and seek to have the information corrected. National Park Service (NPS) procedures for addressing challenges are found in Director's Order #11B: Ensuring Quality of Information Disseminated by the National Park Service (334KB PDF).
The director's order identifies the following process for challenging the quality of information disseminated by the NPS:
Submitting Complaints About Information Quality
Affected people may use these methods to notify the NPS of their complaints:
- Discuss their complaint in person with park or program office staff, providing information in the form of written documents or oral presentations.
- Direct complaints to the superintendent of the park or manager of the program office that disseminated the information.
- Direct complaints about the quality of disseminated information by mail to the National Park Service, attention: Correspondence Control Unit (CCU), 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240. The complainant should use the subject “Complaint About Information Quality” so that it may be clearly recognizable to those managing the process.
- Send complaints about the quality of disseminated information to the CCU via email. The complainant should use the subject “Complaint About Information Quality” so that it may be clearly recognizable to those managing the process.
A request for formal informational correction must include the following:
- A written statement that the person is seeking correction of information disseminated by the NPS. The statement must include the specific reasons why the information fails to meet OMB or Department of the Interior (DOI) standards, along with any supporting documentation.
- Name, mailing address, telephone number, email address (if applicable), and organizational affiliation (if any) of the individual making the complaint. Organizations submitting a complaint should identify one individual as the primary contact.
- A detailed description of the specific material in question, including where it is located (that is, publication title, date, and publication number, if any, or the website and webpage address).
- A description of how the informational error affects the person submitting the complaint.
- The specific recommendations for corrective action.
The CCU will route a complaint to the park or office that disseminated the information and will track the response to ensure that it complies with Director's Order #11B requirements. Within 10 working days of receiving the complaint, the park or office will notify the complainant of receipt.
Within 60 calendar days of the date the NPS received the complaint, the park or office must:
- evaluate the complaint and
- notify the complainant about the outcome—the information was corrected, deleted, or confirmed to be accurate.
A second complaint received before the issuance of a 60-calendar-day notice for an overlapping complaint under review will be treated with simultaneous consideration, and the second complainant will be notified within 10 working days that an analysis is in progress and advised of its status. The earlier and later complaints will be combined, and a combined 60-calendar-day finding will be issued based on the date of the first complaint. If the second identical complaint on the same subject is received after a 60-calendar-day notice has been issued, then the second complaint will require a new and separate review, however recent. Unless substantial new information has been submitted, the 60-calendar-day finding for the earlier complaint will suffice and a response should be easy to produce.
Requests for Corrections
- On July 16, 2020, the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) submitted a complaint regarding the NPS document, “REVIEW of the Sea Turtle Science and Recovery Program, Padre Island National Seashore,” approved on June 8, 2020. PEER seeks to have the review retracted and its conclusions barred from official use until the information is corrected. The complaint and the National Park Service’s interim response may be viewed online:
- Complaint About Information Quality: REVIEW of the Sea Turtle Science and Recovery Program, Padre Island National Seashore, July 16, 2020 (226KB PDF)
- Interim Response from Michael T. Reynolds, Regional Director, NPS/Interior Regions 6, 7 & 8, July 24, 2020 (162KB PDF)
- Interim Response from Michael T. Reynolds, Regional Director, NPS/Interior Regions 6, 7 & 8, September 11, 2020 (94KB PDF)
- On February 6, 2020, the Anacostia Watershed Advisory Committee submitted a request for correction of information quality regarding (1) the Environmental Assessment and (2) materials about the design of the National Arboretum Bridge and Trail that were presented at public meetings. The complaint and the National Park Service’s interim and final responses may be viewed online:
- Formal Complaint Seeking Correction of Information Disseminated by the National Park Service Concerning NCPC 7936 Arboretum Bridge, February 6, 2020 (1.26MB PDF)
- Interim Response from Tara D. Morrison, Superintendent, National Capital Parks-East, February 19, 2020 (203KB PDF)
- Final Response from Tara D. Morrison, Superintendent, National Capital Parks-East, April 7, 2020 (436KB PDF)
- On September 27, 2019, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) submitted a request for correction of information quality regarding the webpage "Is climate change affecting us already?" The complaint and the National Park Service’s response may be viewed online:
Last updated: September 14, 2020