Text: S.338 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (02/07/2017)

 
[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
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[S. 338 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

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115th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                 S. 338

 To protect scientific integrity in Federal research and policymaking, 
                        and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

             February 7 (legislative day, February 6), 2017

 Mr. Nelson (for himself, Mr. Peters, Mr. Schatz, Mr. Blumenthal, Mr. 
  Udall, Mr. Coons, Mrs. Gillibrand, Mr. Merkley, Mr. Van Hollen, Mr. 
 Whitehouse, Ms. Baldwin, Mr. Reed, Mr. Heinrich, Mrs. Feinstein, Ms. 
Warren, Ms. Hassan, Ms. Stabenow, Mr. Markey, Mr. Booker, Ms. Cantwell, 
  Mr. Warner, Mrs. Shaheen, Mr. Franken, Mr. Cardin, Mrs. Murray, Mr. 
Carper, and Ms. Cortez Masto) introduced the following bill; which was 
  read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
                             Transportation

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To protect scientific integrity in Federal research and policymaking, 
                        and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Scientific Integrity Act''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITION OF FEDERAL AGENCY.

    In this Act, the term ``Federal agency'' has the meaning given the 
term ``agency'' in section 551(1) of title 5, United States Code.

SEC. 3. SENSE OF CONGRESS ON SCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY.

    It is the sense of Congress that--
            (1) independent, impartial science and the scientific 
        process should inform and guide public policy decisions on a 
        wide range of issues, including improvement of public health, 
        protection of the environment, and protection of national 
        security;
            (2) the public must be able to trust the science and 
        scientific process informing public policy decisions;
            (3) science, the scientific process, and the communication 
        of science should be free from political, ideological, or 
        financial influence; and
            (4) policies and procedures that ensure the reliable 
        conduct and communication of publicly funded science are 
        critical to ensuring public trust.

SEC. 4. PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS.

    Except as provided in section 552(b) of title 5, United States 
Code, the head of each Federal agency that funds or conducts scientific 
research shall--
            (1) promote and maximize the communication and open 
        exchange of data and findings to other agencies, policymakers, 
        and the public of research conducted by a scientist employed or 
        contracted by a Federal agency that funds or conducts 
        scientific research; and
            (2) prevent the intentional or unintentional suppression or 
        distortion of the data and findings described in paragraph (1).

SEC. 5. PRINCIPLES.

    Section 1009(a) of the America COMPETES Act (42 U.S.C. 6620(a)) is 
amended to read as follows:
    ``(a) Principles.--
            ``(1) In general.--Not later than 30 days after the date of 
        enactment of the Scientific Integrity Act, the Director of the 
        Office of Science and Technology Policy, in consultation with 
        the head of each Federal agency that funds or conducts 
        scientific research, shall develop and issue an overarching set 
        of principles--
                    ``(A) to ensure the communication and open exchange 
                of data and findings to other agencies, policymakers, 
                and the public of research conducted by a scientist 
                employed or contracted by a Federal agency that funds 
                or conducts scientific research; and
                    ``(B) to prevent the intentional or unintentional 
                suppression or distortion of the data or findings 
                described in subparagraph (A).
            ``(2) Exchange of data and findings.--In order to promote 
        the sharing of data and findings, as appropriate, the 
        principles shall--
                    ``(A) encourage the open exchange of data and 
                findings of research undertaken by a scientist employed 
                or contracted by a Federal agency that funds or 
                conducts scientific research;
                    ``(B) be consistent with existing Federal laws, 
                including chapter 18 of title 35, United States Code 
                (commonly known as the `Bayh-Dole Act'); and
                    ``(C) take into consideration the policies of peer-
                reviewed scientific journals in which Federal 
                scientists may currently publish findings.''.

SEC. 6. SCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY POLICIES.

    (a) In General.--Section 1009 of the America COMPETES Act (42 
U.S.C. 6620) is amended by striking subsection (b) and inserting the 
following:
    ``(b) Scientific Integrity Policies.--Not later than 90 days after 
the date of enactment of the Scientific Integrity Act, the head of each 
Federal agency that funds or conducts scientific research shall--
            ``(1) develop and enforce a scientific integrity policy, 
        including procedures, regarding the release of data and 
        findings to other agencies, policymakers, and the public of 
        research conducted by a scientist employed or contracted by 
        that Federal agency; and
            ``(2) submit the scientific integrity policy to the 
        Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and 
        Congress.
    ``(c) Requirements.--A scientific integrity policy under subsection 
(b) shall--
            ``(1) be consistent with the principles established under 
        subsection (a);
            ``(2) specifically address what is and what is not 
        permitted or recommended under that policy, including 
        procedures;
            ``(3) be specifically designed for the Federal agency;
            ``(4) be applied uniformly throughout the Federal agency; 
        and
            ``(5) be widely communicated and readily accessible to the 
        public and all employees and contractors of the Federal agency.
    ``(d) Contents.--At a minimum, each scientific integrity policy 
under subsection (b) shall ensure that--
            ``(1) the scientific conclusions and personnel actions 
        regarding scientists are not made based on political 
        considerations;
            ``(2) the selection and retention of candidates for science 
        and technology positions in the Federal agency are based 
        primarily on the candidate's expertise, scientific credentials, 
        experience, and integrity;
            ``(3) scientists adhere to the highest ethical standards of 
        honesty and professionalism in conducting their research and 
        disseminating their findings;
            ``(4) the appropriate rules, procedures, and safeguards are 
        in place to ensure the integrity of the scientific process 
        within the Federal agency, including procedures--
                    ``(A) that allow for a scientist to review public 
                release of materials that cite work from that scientist 
                or otherwise claim to represent the scientist's 
                scientific opinion; and
                    ``(B) to identify, evaluate the merits of, and 
                address instances in which the scientific process or 
                the integrity of scientific and technological 
                information may be compromised;
            ``(5) scientific or technological information considered in 
        policy decisions is subject to well-established scientific 
        processes, including peer review where appropriate;
            ``(6) except as provided in section 552(b) of title 5, 
        United States Code, each Federal agency makes publicly 
        available scientific or technological findings that are 
        considered or relied upon in policy decisions and regulatory 
        proposals;
            ``(7) technical staff are able to ensure the technical 
        content of scientific documents, reports, press releases, and 
        fact sheets accurately represents the relevant scientific data 
        and conclusions; and
            ``(8) procedures, including any applicable whistleblower 
        protections, are in place as are necessary to ensure the 
        integrity of scientific and technological information and 
        processes on which the Federal agency relies in its 
        decisionmaking or otherwise uses.
    ``(e) Application.--A scientific integrity policy shall apply to 
each employee or contractor who conducts, handles, communicates, or 
supervises federally funded scientific research for the Federal agency 
or for a federally funded research and development center sponsored by 
the Federal agency.
    ``(f) Dissemination of Scientific Integrity Policies and 
Procedures.--The head of each Federal agency that funds or conducts 
scientific research shall--
            ``(1) make the scientific integrity policy available to the 
        public on the Federal agency's website;
            ``(2) disseminate the scientific integrity policy to each 
        new employee and contractor; and
            ``(3) develop and require training on the scientific 
        integrity policy for each employee or contractor who conducts, 
        handles, communicates, or supervises scientific research for 
        the Federal agency.
    ``(g) Definition of Federal Agency.--In this section, the term 
`Federal agency' has the meaning given the term `agency' in section 
551(1) of title 5, United States Code.''.
    (b) Existing Scientific Integrity Policies.--Notwithstanding 
section 1009(b) of the America COMPETES Act (42 U.S.C. 6620(b)), as 
amended by this Act, a scientific integrity policy that was in effect 
on the day before the date of enactment of this Act may satisfy the 
requirements of section 1009 of that Act if the head of a Federal 
agency that funds or conducts scientific research--
            (1) makes a written determination that the policy satisfies 
        the requirements of that section; and
            (2) submits the written determination and the policy to the 
        Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and 
        Congress.

SEC. 7. NAPA REVIEW.

    Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the 
Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy shall enter 
into an agreement with the National Academy of Public Administration--
            (1) to study the effectiveness of the scientific integrity 
        policies under section 1009 of the America COMPETES Act (42 
        U.S.C. 6620), as added by section 6 of this Act--
                    (A) in promoting the communication and open 
                exchange of data and findings to other agencies, 
                policymakers, and the public of research conducted by 
                scientists employed or contracted by a Federal agency; 
                and
                    (B) in preventing the intentional or unintentional 
                suppression or distortion of the data and findings 
                described in subparagraph (A); and
            (2) to recommend any improvements to the scientific 
        integrity policies to achieve the purposes described in 
        subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (1).
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