A Closer and More Current Look at the 'Information Quality Act,' Its Legislative History, Case Law, and Judicial Review Issues

92 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2018 Last revised: 3 Apr 2018

Date Written: March 30, 2018


This paper challenges in detail the oft-repeated assertions that the "Information Quality Act" (IQA) has minimal or no legislative history, and that it was intended to be advisory only and does not allow for judicial review. It finds that there is substantial legislative history — most of it not previously set out in legal commentary or litigation — for both the IQA itself and for the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) that led to adoption of the IQA and that are expressly incorporated into it. It also discusses how that legislative history contravenes arguments raised against judicial review of IQA challenges.

The paper provides a detailed review of all the IQA case law to date, focusing on the principal arguments made by both sides and the judicial reaction to them. It finds that the arguments made against judicial review are not well-founded, but that also in many instances those petitioning for corrections did not provide adequate support for their arguments, and that the courts, mainly the district courts, have often accepted government arguments without critical analysis. However, it also finds that several circuit court decisions, especially the most recent one, now firmly support judicial review under the Administrative Procedure Act. At the same time, it notes how some of the judicial opinions reveal obstacles to achieving a favorable outcome from judicial review.

It examines the general administrative case law supporting, or posing problems for, judicial review of IQA complaints. Examples include criteria for determining whether guidance is a binding legislative rule, administrative versus Article III standing, and the validity of judicial review disclaimers. Those issues are discussed in the context of the IQA and PRA, and OMB's IQA Guidance and peer review Bulletin.

Keywords: Information Quality Act, IQA, Data Quality Act, DQA, Paperwork Reduction Act, PRA, Administrative Procedure Act, APA, legislative history, judicial review, case law, guidelines, guidance, bulletin, peer review, legislative rules, standing, exhaustion of administrative remedies, disclaimers

Suggested Citation

Kelly, Jr. Esq., William G., A Closer and More Current Look at the 'Information Quality Act,' Its Legislative History, Case Law, and Judicial Review Issues (March 30, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3122670 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3122670

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