Science in the Administrative Process

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Committee: 
Science in the Administrative Process in stage 8. Implementation

Project Stages:

1. Gather ideas - Completed
2. Select ideas - Completed
3. Council approval - Completed
4. Picking a researcher - Completed
5. Committee consideration - Completed
6. Back to the council - Completed
7. Consideration by the full conference - Completed
8. Implementation - Current
Stage:  
8. Implementation

Contacts

Committee Chair
Partner
Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP
Implementation Contact
202.480.2083
rbull@acus.gov
Consultant
Wendy E. Wagner
Joe A. Worsham Centennial Professor
University of Texas Law School
Media
202.480.2091
mkindelan@acus.gov

Background Information: Science plays a crucial role in the administrative process, but a role that has become controversial. Critics complain either that agencies overregulate because they give insufficient attention to sound science, or underregulate because they permit science to be trumped by political considerations.  The ACUS Science project examines the transparency of agencies’ use of science, considering how agencies structure their scientific studies and how they communicate their findings.  The consultant, Professor Wendy Wagner, has interviewed agency officials at 3 agencies that make extensive use of science (EPA, FWS, and NRC) and prepared a draft report that offers a series of recommendations for enhancing the transparency of the agency scientific process.

Project Details: The Committee on Regulation held six in-person meetings and one virtual meeting (via web forum) to discuss Professor Wagner’s research and her draft report.  In addition, the Conference collaborated with outside organizations to host a series of workshops designed to examine the draft recommendations under consideration by the committee: a September 10, 2012 workshop at the National Academies; an October 23, 2012 workshop at George Washington University’s Regulatory Studies Center; and a December 14, 2012 roundtable discussion organized by the Small Business Administration.  The recommendations reflect the insights gained over the course of the research process.

Final Recommendation

  • Recommendation number: 2013-3
  • Adopted on: June 14, 2013
  • Committees: Regulation
  • Tags: Science

Recommendation 2013-3, “Science in the Administrative Process,” promotes transparency in agencies' scientific decision-making, including: articulation of questions to be informed by science information; attribution for agency personnel who contributed to scientific analyses; public access to underlying data and literature; and conflict of interest disclosures for privately funded research used by the agencies in...

Implementation

At its Plenary Session on June 13-14, 2013, the Administrative Conference adopted Recommendation 2013-3, relating to the use of science in the administrative process.  The recommendation highlights a number of innovative practices undertaken by federal agencies in their use of science in regulatory decisionmaking.  Among other things, it urges agencies to explain how they have deployed scientific research to address specific policy questions, to identify the scientific literature that they consider, to establish checkpoints defining the conditions under which they intend to close further research and reach a decision, and to provide attribution to agency personnel who contribute to scientific reports.  The recommendation also offers proposals for encouraging data and conflict of interest disclosures for private research considered by agencies.

Project Documents

Name Committee Type Datesort descending
Michaels/Wagner Article in Science Magazine Regulation Publication December 19, 2003 Download
Public Comment for May 31 Meeting Regulation Public Comment May 16, 2011 Download
Approved Minutes from May 31 Meeting Regulation Meeting Minutes May 31, 2011 Download
Approved Minutes from October 25, 2011 Meeting Regulation Meeting Minutes October 25, 2011 Download
Professor Wagner's Revised Research Outline Regulation Outline October 30, 2011 Download
Approved Minutes from "Virtual Meeting" on Science Project Regulation Meeting Minutes December 15, 2011 Download
Professor Wendy Wagner's Science Project Report Appendices Regulation Appendix February 27, 2012 Download
Revised Draft Recommendation Considered at March 7 Meeting Regulation Recommendation February 27, 2012 Download
Science in the Administrative Process: A Study of Agency Decisionmaking Approaches Report February 27, 2012 Download
Draft Recommendation for March 7 Meeting Regulation Recommendation February 27, 2012 Download
Jamie Conrad's Report Outline of March 7 Meeting Revisions Regulation Outline February 27, 2012 Download
Professor Wendy Wagner's Science Project Report Regulation Report February 27, 2012 Download
Strauss Comments on Draft Report Regulation Public Comment March 2, 2012 Download
Existing Transparency Laws and Policies Memo Regulation Memorandum March 5, 2012 Download
Committee on Regulation Meeting Agenda Regulation Agenda March 7, 2012 Download
Committee on Regulation Meeting Minutes Regulation Meeting Minutes March 7, 2012 Download
Morrison Comments on Draft Report Regulation Public Comment March 7, 2012 Download
Revised Science Recommendation Regulation Recommendation March 27, 2012 Download
Committee on Regulation Meeting Minutes Draft Regulation Meeting Minutes May 3, 2012 Download
Angus Macbeth Comment Regulation Public Comment September 4, 2012 Download
Science in the Administrative Process Transcript Regulation Transcript September 10, 2012 Download
Revisions to Draft Recommendation Wagner Committee Memo Regulation Memorandum September 18, 2012 Download
Sept. 10 Workshop Summary Committee Memo Regulation Memorandum September 18, 2012 Download
Don Elliott Comment Regulation Public Comment September 24, 2012 Download
Committee on Regulation Meeting Minutes Regulation Meeting Minutes September 24, 2012 Download
Science Project Virtual Meeting Transcript Regulation Transcript October 16, 2012 Download
Science Recommendation Draft Regulation Recommendation February 15, 2013 Download
Science in Regulation Appendix Appendix February 18, 2013 Download
Science in Regulation Final Report Report February 18, 2013 Download
Strauss Comment on Science Project Regulation Public Comment March 3, 2013 Download
Committee on Regulation Meeting Agenda Regulation Agenda March 4, 2013 Download
Wagner's Annotated Recommendations for Science Project Regulation Recommendation March 5, 2013 Download
Science Draft Recommendation Regulation Recommendation March 15, 2013 Download
Committee Meeting Adenda Regulation Agenda March 27, 2013 Download
Conrad Comment Regulation Public Comment March 27, 2013 Download
Committee on Regulation Meeting Minutes Regulation Meeting Minutes March 29, 2013 Download
Redline of Draft Science Recommendation Regulation Recommendation March 29, 2013 Download
NIST Comment Regulation Public Comment April 1, 2013 Download
NOAA Comment Regulation Public Comment April 1, 2013 Download
Science Project Recommendation Draft Regulation Recommendation April 23, 2013 Download
Combined Comments Regulation Member Comment April 24, 2013 Download
Committee Meeting Agenda Regulation Agenda April 26, 2013 Download
Committee on Regulation Meeting Minutes Regulation Meeting Minutes April 26, 2013 Download
Science Draft Recommendation Regulation Recommendation May 22, 2013 Download
Webcast of the Committee's April 2, 2013 Meeting Regulation Webcast May 24, 2013 Watch Video
Webcast of the Committee's April 29, 2013 Meeting Regulation Webcast May 24, 2013 Watch Video
Webcast of the Committee's March 4, 2013 Meeting Regulation Webcast May 24, 2013 Watch Video
Science Draft Recommendation with Amendments (for Plenary) Regulation Recommendation June 7, 2013 Download
Science in the Administrative Process Regulation Recommendation June 14, 2013 Download

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