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September 20, 2010 - ASCE Comments - Proposed Scientific Integrity Policy of the Department of the Interior

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September 20, 2010

Comments of the
American Society of Civil Engineers

On the Proposed
Scientific Integrity Policy of the Department of the Interior

Published in the Federal Register
August 31, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 168)]
Page 53325-53328
FR Doc. 2010-21591

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is pleased to have the opportunity to comment on the proposed Department of Interior scientific integrity policy. ASCE firmly believes that just as it is a fundamental principle of civil engineering that engineers must be honest and impartial in the performance of their duties, so too must government scientists and researchers place the highest possible priority on the scientific integrity of their efforts. For that reason, we applaud the Department of Interior for undertaking this important initiative and ASCE fully supports this effort.

We would also like to note, however the concerns have been expressed that the proposed policy ignores steps in the research policy, particularly the senior agency supervisors and political appointees. The validity of government research and the regulations, and laws, development based on that research will have no credibility if there is doubt about either the underlying research or the final reports release to the public. Transparency and integrity are absolutely critical throughout the research process, from the design and purpose of a research project, through the actual research, to the release of the final results. All stages of the process must be covered by any scientific integrity policy if it is to have any value and credibility.

ASCE, founded in 1852, is the country’s oldest national civil engineering organization representing more than 144,000 civil engineers in private practice, government, industry and academia dedicated to the advancement of the science and profession of civil engineering. ASCE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational and professional society.

We thank you for the opportunity to provide our views. If we can provide additional information please contact Martin Hight, ASCE’s Senior Manager of the Government Relations at mhight@asce.org or a 202-789-7843.