New protections and resources for workers designed to boost effectiveness
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of the Interior today announced an updated and strengthened policy to ensure that all Interior employees and contractors uphold the principles of scientific integrity and that the Department thoroughly reviews alleged breaches of the policy while protecting workers.
In 2011, the Interior Department became the first federal agency to establish a scientific integrity policy in response to President Obama's directive on sound departmental science policies. Based on lessons learned over the past three years, updates to the Department's manual provide more clarity on the complaint and appeals process, create an ombudsmen role for the Department and bureau scientific integrity officers and provide new resources for employees.
“Science is at the heart of Interior's mission, so it's important that we continue to lead federal efforts to ensure robust scientific integrity,” said Secretary Jewell. “Today we are announcing an updated, strengthened policy to broaden, clarify and underscore our commitment to sound science and to reflect enhancements based on three years of experience with the current policy.”
“Along with the release of the revised policy, the Department is providing employees and contractors with new resources, including a new handbook and upcoming online training,” said Suzette Kimball, the Department's Chief Scientific Integrity Officer and current Acting Director of the U.S. Geological Survey. “This training is designed to enhance employees' understanding of scientific integrity in support of the Department's mission.”
Updates to the scientific integrity policy are based on the principles found in Secretarial Order 3305 and guided by the Office of Science and Technology Policy memo, issued in December of 2010. The policy applies to all Departmental employees when they engage in, supervise or manage scientific or scholarly activities; analyze and/or publicly communicate scientific or scholarly information; or use this information or analyses to make policy, management or regulatory decisions. Additionally, the policy includes provisions for contractors, partners, grantees, leasees, volunteers and others, who conduct these activities on behalf of the Department.
Updates to the Departmental Manual include:
New Resources for Employees include:
The Department's Scientific Integrity website provides additional information about the implementation of the policy, along with a current summary of the closed scientific integrity cases.