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Data Access

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Background and Basis for CRE Interest
Promoting the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of federal government information.

CRS: Public Access to Data from Federally Funded Research

Public Access to Research Data: A Right to Know or Off Limits?

Origins of Congressional Action Regarding Public Access to Data

Tension continues to mount over principles of data access

GOP "War on Science" -- Mooney Responds

Is More Access To Science Information The Answer?

Access to Research Data in the 21st Century: An Ongoing Dialogue Among Interested Parties Report of a Workshop (2002)

The Data Amendments And The Emergence Of The New, Subterranean Administrative Law

Scientists Challenge New Disclosure Law

AAAS Library

CRS 2013

CRE Treatise

AAAS-Federal Focus Symposium

Public Comments

CRS 1999

OMB Watch Comments on CRE Proposal for Model State Legislation on Data Quality and Data Access

  • Click here for OMB Watch article and analysis

  • NAS Panel on Data Access
    NAS convened a panel on the Data Access law. The proceedings are can be accessed below,

  • Click for "Seeking Access to Research Data in the 21st Century: An Ongoing Dialogue Among Interested Parties"
  • DOTís E-Government Innovation
    The Office of Management and Budget undertook a major multi-agency strategic program to improve the government’s delivery of services through the use of information technology. DOT was named the Managing Partner for the Online Rulemaking Management component of the strategy based on their existing e-docket system. DOT has recently built on its e-regulatory leadership by launching an online Significant Rulemakings Report. The monthly Report provides the status of all significant rulemakings in the Department. Included in the Report is a schedule, with milestones and other pertinent information, for each significant rulemaking. The Report also provides color coding which allows a quick check of whether or a rule is on schedule, not likely to meet the schedule or is behind schedule. Explanation of delays is also provided. The DOT Report provides an important demonstration of how agencies can use the internet to improve the transparency of the regulatory process.

  • Click to read DOT Report on Significant Rulemakings
  • Click to read OMBís E-Government Strategy
  • CRE Regulatory Services
  • CRE Seeks Public Disclosure of EPA's Multi-Pollutant Air Emission Model
    EPA is using an ICF Model to predict the economic effects of multi-pollutant air emission legislation being considered by Congress and the Administration. These modeling results could have a major impact on both the legislation and the economy. Their accuracy and reproducibility are critically important. Yet EPA has not allowed public review of and comment on the Model. Given the importance of this issue, CRE has sent EPA's Chief Information Officer a letter urging her to disclose the Model to the public. CRE has also filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the Model and related documents.

  • Click for CRE's letter to EPA's Chief Information Officer
  • Click for CRE's FOIA request
  • Comment on Item

    New York Adopts Law to Guarantee Public Access to Scientific Data Used by State Regulatory Agencies
    The state of New York has recently adopted a new law to guarantee public access to scientific data state agencies have used as the basis of new rules and regulations. The law provides that where a study serves as the basis for a regulation, the agency must publish key information about the study in the State Register, including the title of the study, the Principal Investigator, an abstract of the study, and information related to the agency's Data Access Officer. Where underlying study data are "readily available," the agency must also make this information available to the public. New York's law represents a significant advancement of Data Access at the state level.

    NIH Takes Lead in Implementing Data Access Rule Through Issuance of Guidance to Grantees and Applicants
    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has issued guidance on its Website to its grantees and applicants regarding steps to be taken to implement the Data Access provisions contained in revised OMB Circular A-110. NIH is among the first agencies to issue such guidance, and it can be expected to serve as a model for other federal agencies. The guidance lays out an overview of the process, including initial steps on cost reimbursement. Although the NIH process is not yet final, this guidance is an excellent first step in implementing meaningful Data Access across the federal government.

    CRE Sponsors Data Access Cost Reimbursement Symposium
    CRE arranged and moderated a meeting of officials from federal grant-awarding agencies to facilitate agency implementation of the Data Access amendment to OMB Circular A-110 (Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements With Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations). The revised OMB Circular allows the interested public to request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) the underlying data from federally-funded studies complied in connection with grants awarded after the effective date of November 8, 1999. Such requests to the relevant agencies are is subject to the normal protections afforded by FOIA exemptions (e.g., patient confidentiality, confidential business information).

    However, this meeting, which was held in Washington, D.C. on March 16, 2000, was designed to sort out many of the unresolved questions regarding payment by petitioners of the costs associated with procurement of the requested data from grantees. Discussions were held as to the progress made by certain lead agencies, and there was a thorough airing of anticipated problems and potential solutions to the cost reimbursement issue.

    Agencies Issue Interim Final Rule for Codification of Data Access
    Federal grants-awarding agencies have issued an interim final rule designed to codify agency implementation of the OMB revision to Circular A-110. This new rule, published in the March 16, 2000 Federal Register (65 Fed. Reg. 14406), does not set out new substantive requirements but instead advances implementation of OMB's earlier revision to Circular A-110 by federal agencies. The interim rule is effective April 17, 2000.

    OMB Issues Final Rule on Circular A-110
    OMB issues its final rule implementing the Data Access provisions of Public Law 105-277. Focus will now turn to agency promulgation of conforming regulations to tailor the OMB mandate to their specific programs.

    OMB Reproposal of Circular A-110 CRE Introduction and text of OMB reproposal

    OMB Issues Proposed Revisions to Circular A-110 Pursuant to Data Access Law
    In compliance with the Data Access Act, OMB issued a proposed rule to revise Circular A-110 and requested public comments in the Federal Register on February 4, 1999 (64 Fed. Reg. 5684). Because the statuory language for Data Access and the subsequently proposed OMB rule for its implementation are succint, a number of significant issues will have to be resolved during the comment period to flesh out both the OMB and subsequent agency regulations. CRE urges interested parties to submit their comments to OMB by the April 5, 1999 deadline.

  • Click to read more and to access OMB's proposed rule revising Circular A-110.
  • Click to make a comment.
  • President Signs Data Access Law (P.L. 105-277)

    Fact Sheet on Data Access
    Basic information on the Data Access issue

    CRE Legislative Working Papers on Data Access and Data Quality
    CRE has been one of the initial proponents of federal legislation for Data Access and Data Quality, due to the important role that government information plays in regulation and resource allocation. Consequently, CRE developed an extensive set of legislative working papers in support of these key data provisions subsequently enacted by Congress. CRE's papers discuss the need for the legislation, key issues to be addressed, and an explanation of how responsibilities for Data Access and Data Quality have a basis under preexisting statutory authority.

  • Click here to review CRE's Legislative Working Papers on Data Quality

  • Price-Walsh Amendment Text
    Text of the proposed revision

    House Rejects Price-Walsh Amendment
    House Appropriations Committee rejects on July 13,1999; Full House fails to consider

    House Initiates Action on Data Access
    Consistent with the recommendations of CRE, the House incorporated a provision in the FY 1999 Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act (H.R. 4104) designed to provide public access to data developed with federal funding. The Senate has followed the House's lead regarding this Data Access measure, and relevant language has been included in the conference report related to this legislation. CRE anticipates passage of this important provision for data sharing that will permit a more open and scientifically rigorous review of taxpayer-supported data.

  • Click to read more, including the Data Access language from the House bill, the Senate bill, and the Conference Report, as well as CRE's Legislative Working Papers on Data Access and Data Quality.
  • Data Access/Data Quality Information to Come
    Additional papers and analyses


    CRE Comments on Data Access

    Strategy for Implementing Data Access Objectives
    Planned Project Work Activities

    CRE comments to EPA on its March 22, 1999 memorandum to Administrator
    CRE responds to the discussion of the framework and early action projects for EPA's new Information Office.

    CRE comments to OMB on its August 11, 1999 reproposal

    Three Key Protections for Intellectual Property
    Protections Under the New Federal Data Access Law: FOIA, The Bayh-Dole Act, and Agencies' Conforming Regulations

    CRE Comments on Proposed OMB Rule
    Comments and invitation for reader feedback

    Arguments Against Price-Walsh Amendment
    Identifies problems with Amendment


    Correspondence on Data Access

    Letter from four Senators to OMB Director
    Senators Campbell, Shelby, Lotta and Gramm express concerns over proposed amendments to OMB Circular A-110.

    Letter from Congressman Udall to OMB
    Expressing concern about the impacts of proposed revisions to OMB Circular A-110.

    Letter from Congressman Holt to OMB
    Voicing opinion on proposed changes to Circular A-110.

    Letter from 17 Congress Members to OMB Director
    Supporting amendment of Circular A-110.

    "Dear Colleague" Letter from Members of Congress to Appropriations Committee Members Opposing Price-Walsh
    Letter and attachment from Congress Members Emerson, DeLay, Aderholt and Peterson

    "Dear Colleague" Letter from Members of Congress Opposing Price-Walsh
    Letter and attachment from Congress Members Aderholt, DeLay, Peterson, Callahan, Wicker and Tiahrt

    Letter from Senators Shelby and Lott to Congressman Young Opposing Price-Walsh

    Letter from Senators to OMB Director with Comments on Proposed Revision to OMB Circular A-110
    Letter from Senators Shelby, Campbell and Lott

    Letter from Congress Member Emerson to OMB Director
    Requesting feedback on CRE's Global Warming paper

    OMB Director's Response to Letter from Congress Member Emerson
    Providing feedback on CRE's Global Warming paper


    Documents from Other Sources

    Data Access Comments on Interactive Public Docket

    Medical Sentinel Announces New Data Access Policy
    Published authors must now make redacted raw data associated with their stories, available on the Internet.

    NIH, DOE, DOD Awarded $3.3 Million in Grants to Scientist Who Faked EMF Data
    Points up the need for data access legislation

    Letter from Former OIRA Administrators
    Opposing the Price-Walsh Amendment

    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) - Federal Focus Data Access Symposium
    Description and link to transcript

    Transcript of the PBS Series "TechnoPolitics"
    Discussing the Data Access Issue (March 13, 1999)

    National Research Council Press Release
    On "Open Exchange of Scientific Data" (April 10, 1997)

    CRE - National Academy of Sciences (et al.) Dialogue on Data Access