BSEE’s Peer Review Manual Emphasizes Compliance with the Information Quality Act

The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement has published a “Peer Review Process Manual,” which is available here

On page 2, BSEE’s Peer Review Process Manual explains the importance of OMB’s Peer Review Bulletin:

 “Guidelines for peer review by federal agencies have been established by the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) ‘Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review’ (December 2004), hereafter referred to as the “OMB Bulletin,’ which states that ‘important scientific information shall be peer reviewed by qualified specialists before it is disseminated by the federal government.’ In cases when BSEE plans to disseminate a research product, the research product may be subject to peer review requirements under the OMB Bulletin. Additionally, even if a research product is not subject to federal peer review requirements, BSEE may decide that the technical quality and credibility of a research product would benefit from peer review. This Manual describes the peer review process for research products that BSEE decides should be peer reviewed.”

On page 7, BSEE’s Peer Review Process Manual further explains that OMB’s Peer Review Bulletin and the Department of Interior’s Information Quality Guidelines are “Requirements for Peer Review”:

“This section briefly discusses the following sets of peer review requirements that are relevant to BSEE peer reviews:

  • OMB Bulletin: As discussed above, the OMB’s “Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review” (December 2004) provides peer review guidance to federal agencies to help ensure adequate information quality in agency products disseminated to the public and used in agency decision making. Appendix F references the relevant requirements of the OMB Bulletin for each chapter of this Manual. The ‘Information Quality Act’ (Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Public Law 106- 554)) provides the general authority for both the OMB Bulletin and the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Information Quality Guidelines.
  • DOI Information Quality Guidelines: DOI published the ‘Information Quality Guidelines Pursuant to Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001’ to ‘ensure high quality information is generated, used, and disseminated at the Department of the Interior’ and to comply with OMB direction to ‘issue and implement guidelines to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of Government information disseminated to the public.’”

On page 60, BSEE’s Peer Review Process Manual explains:

“Per the OMB Bulletin, the Peer Review Leader must inform the peer reviewers of ‘applicable access, objectivity, reproducibility and other quality standards under the federal laws governing information access and quality.’ This includes, but is not limited to, the DOI Information Quality Standards, DOI Department Manual ‘305 DM 3,’ Executive Order 12866, and the OMB Bulletin.”

On page F-15, BSEE’s Peer Review Process Manual explains:

“If an agency relies on influential scientific information or a highly influential scientific assessment subject to this Bulletin to support a regulatory action, it shall include in the administrative record for that action a certification explaining how the agency has complied with the requirements of this Bulletin and the applicable information quality guidelines. Relevant materials shall be placed in the administrative record.”

Finally, on page C-5, BSEE’s Peer Review Process Manual explains that when BSEE is using a contractor, then

“In performing this work, the contractor shall comply with the guidance specified in the BSEE Peer Review Process Manual, OMB Bulletin entitled ‘Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review’ (December 2004), DOI Information Quality Guidelines, and any other relevant requirements.”

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