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12 Kan. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 521 (2002-2003)
The Information Quality Act - Antiregulatory Costs of Mythic Proportions

handle is hein.journals/kjpp12 and id is 531 raw text is: The Information Quality Act-Antiregulatory Costs of
Mythic Proportions?
James W. Conrad, Jr.
In the fall of 2002, most federal agencies issued guidelines to ensure the quality
of information disseminated by those agencies. These information quality guidelines
include administrative mechanisms to allow affected persons to obtain correction of
disseminated information that does not comply with the guidelines. Required by an
obscure provision of an appropriations act, these guidelines have inspired strong
feelings among critics and supporters alike. Proponents of the guidelines have crowed
that they will have the most profound impact on federal regulations since the
Administrative Procedure Act was enacted in 1946.1 Opponents of the guidelines
view them as equally momentous, but ominously so. To these skeptics, the guidelines
are yet another way for regulated industries to delay, dilute or defeat regulatory
protections vital to protecting public health and welfare: [The Office of Management
and Budget's] data quality initiative, if not properly administered, will create 'death by
data quality.''2 The guidelines' provenance only confirms in the minds of doubters the
nefarious purpose of the guidelines: rollback by rider.
This article argues that the guidelines are indeed the most significant
conceptual advance in administrative law in the last three decades, but their likely
impact has been vastly overstated by both sides of the debate. The article also predicts
that the guidelines, like most administrative mechanisms, will prove in practice to be
more useful to both sides than is currently foreseen, and should increase transparency
and public participation in agency information activities.
Part I of the article briefly describes the  James W. Conrad, Jr. is an
origin of the guidelines and summarizes the   in-house  counsel  at  the
elements that are common     to  all agency   American Chemistry Council.
guidelines. Part II makes the intellectual and  He received his bachelor's
practical case for the guidelines, in effect  degree   from    Haverford
providing some of the additional legislative  College in 1981, and his juris
history that might have been created had the  doctorate  from    George
guidelines originated from authorizing legislation  Washington Law  School in
rather than a spending bill.  This discussion  1985. The views expressed
illustrates not only the need for something like the  herein are the author's.
guidelines but the degree to which that need had
521

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