EPA failed to train employees on scientific integrity, IG says


The Environmental Protection Agency didn't develop a program to instruct employees on the standards of scientific inquiry and the agency has not generated an annual report on the status of scientific integrity within the agency, an Aug. 28 EPA inspector general report (.pdf) says.

The agency does have a scientific integrity policy (.pdf), and it does addresses the promotion of scientific ethical standards, including quality standards, auditors say.

The policy originated from a Dec. 17, 2010 memo (.pdf) from the Office of Science and Technology Policy that provided guidance to strengthen actual and perceived credibility of government research.

The policy tasks the EPA's Scientific Integrity Committee with developing a training program and producing an annual report, the report says.

Because the EPA failed to implement the two tasks, the agency doesn't know if its employees are complying with the policy and can't detect violations of scientific integrity, the report says.

The EPA has taken steps to implement the training and the annual report, the IG says.

The Scientific Integrity Committee plans to finalize the scientific integrity training module by Dec. 31, and make it available through Skillport, the agency's training portal, the report says.

The committee also reviewed an outline for the annual report on scientific integrity and, after receiving input at the annual meeting on June 25, plans to finalize the report by Sept. 30, the report says.

For more:
- download the report, 13-P-0364

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