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Project on Government Oversight

14 Federal Agencies Fail to Fulfill the President’s Directive: Billions in Taxpayer-Funded Science Not Included in Integrity Plans and Policies

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May 31, 2012

The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Food and Drug Administration were two of 14 federal agencies that failed to set proper scientific standards for contract and grantee researchers, despite the fact that tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer money funds this science each year, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) said in a letter sent today to the Obama administration.

To comply with President Obama’s 2009 Memorandum on Scientific Integrity, federal agencies were required to submit their draft or final scientific integrity plans or policies to the Office of Science and Technology Policy by March 30. POGO found that while some agencies, such as the Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency, covered contractors and grant recipients in their strengthened scientific integrity policies, many did not.

The omissions were particularly glaring in the case of DOE, where nearly all of its scientific research is funded through contractors or financial assistance agreements. Also troubling is the failure to cover the vast number of contractors in the intelligence community.

“The administration should hold their contractors and grantees to the same scientific standards as their agencies,” POGO Executive Director Danielle Brian said. “Science that lacks integrity not only wastes taxpayer money but also puts the public’s health and safety at risk.”

Read POGO’s letter and a list of agencies that did not address contractors or grantees in their plans.

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO’s investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.

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