Guidelines for Public Comments

The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) maintains an online public comment database for the purpose of facilitating public input and participation in the development of our programs. All submitted comments are reviewed prior to being published online and should adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. Comments must be related to the stated purpose of the request. Public comments are requested for specific purposes, which are stated at the top of online comment collection forms. Comments unrelated to the stated purpose will not be published.
  2. Comments must be suitable for online publication. Comments that contain profanity, inappropriate images, copyrighted materials, or that are intended to defame specific individuals (i.e. slander or libel) or groups of individuals (i.e. derogatory or discriminatory remarks) will not be published.
  3. Comments must not contain information that is exempt from public disclosure. Public availability of comments is subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). FOIA exempts certain types of information from public disclosure. Comments that contain information that is exempt under FOIA will not be published. For more information about FOIA exemptions visit: https://www.foia.gov/faq.html#exemptions.

ODPHP works with Federal advisory committees to seek independent expert advice to inform our programs. Federal advisory committees are required to seek public comments. When the public submits comments to an advisory committee through the online comment database, ODPHP provides the committee with all comments that meet the guidelines stated above. Therefore, comments provided to advisory committees are also published online for public viewing.

ODPHP retains copies of all submitted comments. With the exception of comments that are subject to FOIA exemptions, comments that are not published online because they do not meet these guidelines are available for public inspection upon request by contacting odphpinfo@hhs.gov.