EPA Scientific Integrity Proposal Missing Critical Elements

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) draft scientific integrity policy is missing critical elements needed to effectively safeguard science at the agency, OMB Watch said in comments filed yesterday. The policy must be improved if the agency is to ensure that the best science informs policy decisions that affect the health and environmental quality of all Americans.

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House Moves to Reform Advisory Committees

We’re a little late in reporting this, but on July 26, the House passed a bill to improve the transparency and accountability of federal advisory committees.

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Interior Agency Split to Devote Attention to Safety and Environment

The Interior Department announced yesterday that it will split into two parts the Minerals Management Service (MMS), the troubled agency that has been blamed for not doing enough to prevent the explosion and ensuing oil spill at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

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FDA Reviewing Policy for Conflicts on Advisory Panels

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is tweaking the way it treats advisory committee members who have financial conflicts of interest. FDA will require more detailed information on the financial interests of members who have been granted waivers to serve on committees despite a potential conflict, according to draft guidance released Wednesday.

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What Happened to Obama’s Commitment to Scientific Integrity?

Today, March 9, is the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s scientific integrity memo which instructed his staff to produce within 120 days recommendations for ensuring independence of federal scientists and limiting political interference in their work. 365 days later, we’re still waiting.

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Groups Urge Transparency in Health Care Reform Implementation

Twenty groups, including OMB Watch, have sent a letter calling on Congress to include accountability and transparency provisions in any health care reform legislation. Specifically, the groups focused on federal advisory committees – panels that will provide critical advice on health care issues if legislation is passed. The groups represent a wide variety of public interest issues.

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NIH to Edit Wikipedia – A Slippery Slope?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has initiated a program to encourage its scientists to edit and create articles in the online encyclopedia that anyone can edit, Wikipedia.  Wikipedia is a widely used free resource on the web often criticized for its lack of reliability that results from its open editing format.  

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Lobbyists Creeping into Obama Administration

cash stacksPresident Obama's new ethics platform has already sprung some serious leaks. In spite of an executive order aimed to stem the influence of lobbyists in the Obama administration, former lobbyists are finding their way into top posts, according to the National Journal.

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