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Bipartisan Panel of Industry, NGO and Academic Experts Proposes New Rules for Science in Federal Regulation
Date:8/5/2009

quiring new information when regulations are proposed by agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the FDA, and enhancing the credibility of federal advisory committees to ensure the integrity of science in regulatory policymaking. Many of these recommendations are relevant to the White House and federal agency effort to implement President Obama's March 9, 2009 Presidential Memorandum on Scientific Integrity. An interim version of the SPP report was released in March, and the White House has reviewed that report as part of its work to issue guidelines on scientific integrity and regulatory reform, which are expected soon.

The report's recommendations include:

  • Clarity regarding key science questions needed to write specific regulations. Federal Register notices for proposed regulations should make clear what science questions and what policy questions needed to be answered to formulate the regulation and what science was most influential in drafting the regulation. The notices might also make clear what additional science would help resolve remaining questions and might offer policy alternatives that are consistent with the science.
  • Greater focus on science in advisory committees. Federal agencies should empanel scientific advisory committees - committees that are composed solely of members with relevant scientific expertise - to address science questions relevant to policy, and those panels should not make policy recommendations. Members of such committees should be Special Government Employees, a category that makes them subject to conflict of interest and other ethics rules.
  • Greater transparency in committee appointment process. The process for appointing committees should be more transparent, with agencies taking steps including seeking names through the Web and asking for comments on proposed individuals on the Web.
  • More disclosure by committee members.
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SOURCE Bipartisan Policy Center
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