Comments on OMB's Revised Peer Review Bulletin
OMB Watch submitted detailed comments to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on its Revised Peer Review Bulletin, published in the Federal Register April 28, 2004. The revised bulletin continues to propose a uniform standard of peer review for all federal agencies with strict requirements for agencies conducting peer review. OMB has made significant revisions to the bulletin after its initial draft bulletin received strong opposition from scientists, environmentalists, and public interest groups. While many of the changes attempt to address several of the sharp criticisms, the new proposal fails to correct some of the most fundamental complaints.The new proposal still does not sufficiently establish a clear need for government-wide peer review requirements. Nor does OMB adequately address serious assertions that it lacks the legal authority to establish such requirements, and would be an inappropriate office to oversee peer review programs. Indeed, most of the improvements made in the revised proposal are limited to a lower category of information entitled "influential scientific information." OMB retains overly strict and prescriptive peer review requirements for the most important information that it calls "highly influential scientific assessments." To read the full comments click here.