A little noticed provision within last month's consolidated
appropriations legislation (P.L. 106-554) requires the Office of
Management and Budget (OMB) this year to issue guidelines for "ensuring
and maximizing the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity" of
data, statistics, and other information released by federal agencies.
The trade newspaper Chemical and Engineering News Jan. 8 reported
that the provision, inserted by Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.), is related
to the 1999 Shelby Amendment requiring access to data generated under
federal grants to universities and other non-profit research
institutions. According to the Chemical and Engineering News report,
both measures were supported by industry groups seeking broader powers
to contest the accuracy of data supporting environmental and other
Specifically, the Treasury-Postal section of P.L. 106-554 requires
OMB, working with other federal agencies, to issue guidelines for
enhancing the quality of data disseminated by these agencies and to
provide better mechanisms for review and correction. There are no
indications at this time how the OMB will proceed with this requirement
or if the resulting guidelines could affect federally supported
university-based research cited in federal policy or regulation.
Information: Steve Heinig, AAMC
Division of Biomedical and Health Sciences Research, 202-828-0488.