OMB Watch Calls on Obama Administration to Improve Scientific Integrity
by Matthew Madia, 5/13/2009
On May 13, OMB Watch submitted to the White House recommendations for improving scientific integrity in the federal government. From the comments:
OMB Watch’s experience with science and science-based policy is colored by our work on regulatory and information policy issues. We are attuned to decision makers’ need for high-quality science, the need to effectively interpret that science, and the need to maintain integrity in the process. Government officials must be armed with the highest quality information to make the decisions necessary to protect public health and welfare, the workplace, and the environment.
As an organization that monitors the White House and the Executive Branch at large, we are also well aware of the relationship and tensions that exist between government scientists and government decision makers. Our comments generally revolve around that relationship, calling for greater transparency and new policies and safeguards that attempt to establish a clearer and more appropriate line between science and policy.
In March, President Obama called for improvements in the ways agencies use science in decision making. In April, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) asked the public to comment. The comment period closes May 13.
OMB Watch’s comments go on to recommend limits on the role of the White House Office of Management and Budget in science and science-based policy, improvements to government transparency, and new ways of dealing with the scientific uncertainties surrounding policy issues.