Sent:  Tuesday, March 11, 2003 11:38 AM
To:  CHEC FORUM listserv
Subject:  [Checnet-forum] GAO Investigation of Science Advisory Committees

On September 18, 2002, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, the Ranking Democrat on the Research Subcommittee of the House Science Committee, sent a letter to David M. Walker, Comptroller General of the United States, U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) requesting an investigation of the “alleged politicization of independent science advisory boards that serve the federal government”. GAO is the audit, evaluation, and investigative arm of Congress.

GAO has agreed to investigate and is nearing the end of the “design phase” (i.e. learning more about the issue and determining the scope and methodology it will use).  The investigation will include an examination of the policies and procedures used by agencies and committees to help ensure that the committees provide scientifically sound, independent, and balanced advice.

GAO would be interested in hearing the perspectives of scientists and other professionals who have been vetted for and/or have served on federal advisory committees and is willing to protect individuals’ identities in their notes and report. Individuals who might be in a position to comment on this or other advisory committee issues should contact either Ross Campbell at (202) 512-6550 or <> or Christine Fishkin at (202) 512-6895 or>.

For additional background on this issue please see this article in the APA monitor:
Geoff Mumford, PhD
Director of Science Policy
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
(202) 336-6067 phone
(202) 336-6063 fax