Research Administration Office

University of California

Memo Operating Guidance

No. 91-11

ARCHIVE. See Memo 05-01 for current guidance at

October 1, 1991

Subject: Confidentiality of Information Clause--DHHS

Enclosure 1 is a copy of the "Confidentiality of Information" clause (APR 1984) that appears in the Department of Health and Human Services FAR Supplement (HHSAR) at 48 CFR 352.224-70. This clause is required (in accordance with 324.7003) in certain HHS contracts, including those that support Studies or research which may result in preliminary or unvalidated findings which, upon disclosure to the public, might create erroneous conclusions which, if acted upon, could threaten public health or safety.

Once the clause is accepted, the agency may have the right of prior approval before certain research results may be published, if certain conditions are present. Operating guidance concerning this clause was issued via Contract and Grant Memo No. 86-2 (January 30, 1986). This Memo supplements that earlier guidance.

Stanford University objected to inclusion of this clause in one of its research agreements, and subsequently sued the Government when the contract was withdrawn. The United States District Court for the District of Columbia has now ruled in favor of Stanford. The court decision is enclosed as Enclosure 2. HHS has not yet decided whether to appeal.

If the "Confidentiality of Information" clause is included in HHS contracts that Contract and Grant Officers are asked to sign, the clause can be negotiated out on the basis that a Federal District Judge has declared the clause to be illegal. However, if the clause cannot be negotiated out, follow the guidance in Contract and Grant Memo No. 86-2.

Refer: William Sellers (510) 987-9847


Subject Index: 01, 17, 18

Organization Index: F-350

David F. Mears


Research Administration Office