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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

500.25 - Scientific Integrity

7/23/15

OPR: Office of Science Quality and Integrity

Instruction:  This replaces Survey Manual (SM) chapter SM 500.25 - Scientific Integrity, dated January 5, 2007.

1.  Purpose.  The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the scientific activities it conducts and that are conducted on its behalf.  The USGS will not tolerate loss of integrity in the performance, use, or communication of scientific activities and their results.  This chapter updates the USGS scientific integrity policy (including the scientific code of conduct and procedures for reporting, investigating, and adjudicating allegations of scientific misconduct) and provides guidance for implementing and complying with the Department of the Interior (DOI), Departmental Manual (DM) chapter - 305 DM 3 Integrity of Scientific and Scholarly Activities, the corresponding DOI Scientific Integrity Procedures Handbook and its Appendices.

2.  Scope.

A. This chapter applies to all USGS employees, including political appointees (hereafter employees) and volunteers when they use, engage in, supervise, manage, or influence scientific activities in making and supporting DOI and Bureau policies, management, and regulatory decisions or when they publicly communicate information about the scientific and scholarly activities.

B.  Contractors, cooperators, partners, permittees, lessees, and grantees who assist with developing or applying the results of scientific and scholarly activities must comply with the principles contained within this chapter and 305 DM 3 (section 3.10).

3.  References.

A.  Federal Policy on Research Misconduct, (65 Code of Federal Register (CFR) 76260-76264).

B.  Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, (5 CFR 2635).

C.  305 DM 3 - Integrity of Scientific and Scholarly Activities.

D.  DOI Scientific Integrity Procedures Handbook.

E.  370 DM 752 - Discipline and Adverse Actions.

F.  SM 502.1 - Fundamental Science Practices: Foundation Policy.

G.  SM 502.5– Safeguarding Unpublished USGS Data and Information.

4.  Policy.

A.  General.  The USGS will ensure that all its employees, volunteers, contractors, cooperators, partners, permittees, lessees, and grantees are aware of their obligation to abide by this policy and the DOI policy 305 DM 3.

B.  Privacy and Confidentiality.  Inquiry into an allegation of scientific misconduct will be handled in a manner that protects, as much as possible, any individual who makes an allegation of scientific misconduct or the subject of such allegation.  Inquiries will be conducted in a fair and timely manner and in accordance with 305 DM 3.  Throughout the inquiry and fact finding, all employees involved in the inquiry must maintain confidentiality and protect the person who submitted the allegation to the extent permissible under law.

C.  Protection from Reprisal for Reporting Scientific Misconduct.  The USGS is committed to ensuring that employees and volunteers, who, in accordance with this chapter, report that an allegation of scientific misconduct allegation has occurred, or will occur, are protected and are not subject to reprisal or retribution as mandated under the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012.

5.  Definitions.  In addition to the definitions below, refer to 305 DM 3 (section 3.5) for definitions to other terms related to the integrity of scientific activities (also refer to the Federal Policy on Research Misconduct).

A.  Scientific Activities.  Activities that employ the scientific method for inventorying, monitoring, experimenting, studying, researching, and modeling.  These activities include matters covered by any of the physical, biological, cultural, or social sciences, and may include matters such as landscape architecture, engineering, mathematics, and statistics that employ the scientific method.

B.  Fabrication.  Making up data or results and recording or reporting them.  Fabrication does not include documented use of modeling or statistical techniques.

C.  Falsification.  Manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record..

D.  Plagiarism.  The appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.  Related to plagiarism is self-plagiarism, the reuse word for word of large portions of previously published text without citation to the previously published work. 

E.  Loss of Scientific Integrity.  When there is a significant departure from the accepted standards, professional values, and practices of the relevant scientific community, including (for DOI employees and covered outside parties) the DOI Code of Scientific and Scholarly Conduct and Departmental standards for the performance of scientific or scholarly activities, a loss of scientific integrity occurs.  Improperly using scientific information (including fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism of science) for decision making, policy formulation, or preparation of materials for public information activities, can constitute a loss of integrity.  Loss of scientific integrity negatively affects the quality or reliability of scientific information and can seriously impact the credibility and reputation of the USGS and the DOI.

F.  Scientific Misconduct.  Fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing scientific activities, or in the products or reporting of the results of these activities.  Scientific misconduct does not include an honest error or differences of opinion.

G.  Research Record.  The record of data or results that embody the facts resulting from scientific inquiry and includes, but is not limited to, research proposals, laboratory records, both physical and electronic, progress reports, abstracts, theses, oral presentations, internal reports, and journal articles.

H.  Professional Judgment.  An authoritative evaluation that is characterized by or conforms to the technical and ethical standards of a discipline, and requires specialized knowledge or applicable academic preparation.

I.  Conflict of Interest.  Any personal, professional, financial, or other interests of those covered by this policy and/or their immediate family members that is prohibited by an applicable law or policy, which may include Federal ethics requirements, applicable standards issued by the Office of Government Ethics, Federal acquisition requirements, and the prevailing practices of the National Academy of Sciences as adopted by the Office of Management and Budget.

J.  Scientific Product.  The results of scientific activities including the analysis, synthesis, compilation, or translation of scientific information and data into formats used in DOI decision-making processes or publications.  Scientific products may be Federal records under the Federal Records Act or agency records under the Freedom of Information Act or both, and, as such, subject to statutory and regulatory preservation or disclosure or both  requirements.

6.  Responsibilities.

A.  USGS Director and Deputy Director.  The Director of the USGS is responsible for providing leadership on scientific integrity; ensuring employees and volunteers are aware of their responsibilities for compliance with this policy and with 305 DM 3; and ensuring contractors, cooperators, partners, permittees, lessees, and grantees are aware of their responsibilities related to scientific integrity as detailed in their contract, agreement, or memorandum of understanding. The Director, in coordination with the USGS Deputy Director, will designate a Bureau Scientific Integrity Officer (BSIO) who will report to the USGS Deputy Director.  The USGS Deputy Director, on behalf of the USGS Director, will act on a request from the BSIO to form a Scientific Integrity Review Panel (SIRP) and provide resources to establish the SIRP, as necessary, and appoint a Coordinating Manager for inquiries performed by the BSIO.

B.  Associate Directors and Regional Directors.  The Associate Directors and Regional Directors shall ensure implementation of this policy within their mission and regional areas.  They will collaboratively work with the USGS Director and Deputy Director as needed to ensure activities related to compliance with this policy are carried out in a consistent manner throughout the Bureau.

C.  Office of Scientific Quality and Integrity.  The Office of Science Quality and Integrity (OSQI) provides oversight to enhance the integrity, quality, and health of USGS science.  It is responsible for implementing this chapter as it pertains to the USGS and maintaining records of the scientific integrity allegation process.  The OSQI keeps the USGS Deputy Director informed on the status of the implementation of this chapter.  It monitors  internal and external reviews of scientific integrity within USGS science programs, and maintains this and related policies for USGS Fundamental Science Practices which clarify how USGS science is carried out and how resulting information products are developed, reviewed, approved, and released.  The OSQI Director will appoint a Scientific Integrity Coordinator, who will assist with the responsibilities of the BSIO and the DOI Scientific Integrity Officer (DSIO) regarding inquiries into any allegation of a loss of scientific integrity or scientific misconduct, and serve as the USGS representative for implementation of the DOI scientific integrity policy and its implementation.

D.  Bureau Scientific Integrity Officer (BSIO).  The OSQI Director serves as the BSIO, unless otherwise designated by the USGS Director.  The BSIO is responsible for implementing this chapter as it pertains to the USGS, maintaining the record of the scientific integrity allegation process, and keeping the USGS Deputy Director informed on the status of the implementation of this chapter.  The BSIO will serve as the USGS ombudsman on matters of scientific integrity, which include fostering effective communication as an intermediary and source of information, and providing advice and guidance on the scientific integrity policy.  The BSIO will also conduct inquiries consistent with this chapter, including requesting a SIRP, if needed, and recommending the membership of the SIRP, and inform the DSIO of the status of scientific complaints.  The BSIO will also serve on the DOI Scientific Integrity Council and recommend appropriate changes in scientific policy or practice to the DSIO.

E.  USGS Human Capital Office.  The USGS Human Capital Office has responsibility for providing a copy of this chapter to new employees and ensuring that all new employees sign an acknowledgement that they have received a copy.  This acknowledgment should be retained in the “temporary” (i.e., USGS) section of the employees’ electronic Official Personnel Files.  They consult with the OSQI and Bureau managers and supervisors on appropriate actions concerning the results of inquiries.

F.  Coordinating Manager.  Upon appointment by the OSQI Director, the Coordinating Manager works with the DSIO/BSIO, the DOI Office of the Solicitor (SOL), and any other offices, as required, to provide information relevant to the specific inquiry.  As requested by the DSIO/BSIO, the Coordinating Manager will provide assistance, as needed, to secure all original records and materials relevant to the complaint; and obtain access to all original records and materials relevant to the complaint, including these items from the subject(s), and the complainant.  These gathered materials and records may be shared when required by law.  Upon completion of the inquiry process, the Coordinating Manager will take steps, if needed, to correct the loss of integrity and to prevent future occurrences of the sequence of events that led to the impact to integrity.  The Coordinating Manager will work with the USGS Human Capital Office, as needed, to determine appropriate actions, if any, to be taken in accordance with 370 DM 752 - Discipline and Adverse Actions and any union contracts, as applicable.

G.  Managers and Supervisors.  USGS Managers and Supervisors ensure that current USGS employees and volunteers are provided with USGS, DOI, and Federal policies concerning scientific integrity.  As appropriate, they consult with the DSIO, BSIO, Deputy Ethics Counselor, Administrative Office or Contracting Office, Office of Inspector General (OIG), and SOL. Managers and Supervisors will mitigate and prevent future loss of scientific integrity using lessons learned from a finding under this chapter, and ensure appropriate administrative and disciplinary action is taken in accordance with 370 DM 752 and collective bargaining agreements, if applicable.  They also ensure that all contracts, written agreements, cooperative agreements, grants, permits, and leases covered by the scope of 305 DM 3 and in their purview include the requirements of 305 DM 3 and this policy in the performance work statement.

H.  USGS Employees and Volunteers.  All USGS employees and volunteers must comply with this chapter, 305 DM 3, and the Federal Policy on Research Misconduct.  They are responsible for reporting knowledge of scientific misconduct that is planned, imminent, or has occurred to the DSIO or BSIO.

I.  Contractors, Cooperators, Partners, Permittees, Lessees, and Grantees.  Contractors, cooperators, partners, permittees, lessees, and grantees who assist with developing or applying the results of scientific and scholarly activities shall refer to their contract, agreement, or memorandum of understanding for specific guidance related to scientific integrity.

7.  USGS Code of Scientific Conduct.  In addition, the DOI Code of Scientific and Scholarly Conduct poster is also available.

A.  All USGS Employees, Volunteers, Contractors, Cooperators, Partners, Permittees, Lessees, and Grantees (as described in section 2 [Scope] of this chapter), must abide by the following code of scientific and scholarly conduct (including 7.B and 7.C) to the best of their ability:

(1)  I will act in the interest of the advancement of science and scholarship for sound decision making, by contributing or using the most appropriate, best available, high quality scientific data and information to inform the mission of the USGS and the DOI.

(2)  I will communicate the results of scientific activities clearly, honestly, objectively, thoroughly, accurately, and in a timely manner.

(3)  I will be responsible for the resources entrusted to me; including equipment, funds, my time, and the employees I supervise.

(4)  I will adhere to the laws and policies related to the protection of natural and cultural resources and the conduct of research on animals and human subjects.

(5)  I will not knowingly participate in a particular matter that causes a conflict of interest for myself or others.

(6)  I will not intentionally hinder the scientific activities of others or engage in scientific misconduct.

(7)  I will clearly differentiate among facts, personal opinions, assumptions, hypotheses, and professional judgment in reporting the results of scientific activities and characterizing associated definable uncertainties, in using those results for decision making, and in carrying out public information activities.

(8)  I will protect, to the fullest extent allowed by law and policy, the confidential and proprietary information provided to the USGS and the DOI by individuals, communities, and entities whose interests and resources are studied or affected by scientific activities.

(9)  I will be responsible for the quality of the data I use or create and the integrity of the conclusions, interpretations, and applications I make.  I will adhere to appropriate quality assurance and quality control standards, and not withhold information because it might not support the conclusions, interpretations, and applications I make.

(10)  I will be diligent in creating, using, preserving, documenting, and maintaining scientific collections, records, methodologies, information, and data in accordance with Federal and Departmental law, regulation, policy, and procedures. 

B.  Individuals Engaged in Scientific Activities.  In addition to paragraph 7A above, for all employees, volunteers, and outside parties who engage in scientific activities:

(1)  I will place quality and objectivity of scientific activities and reporting of results ahead of personal gain or allegiance to individuals or organizations.

(2)  I will maintain scientific integrity and will not engage in fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, reviewing, or reporting scientific activities and products of these activities.

(3)  I will fully disclose the scientific methodologies used, all relevant data and information, and the procedures for identifying and excluding faulty data except where protected by law.

(4)  I will adhere to appropriate professional and organizational standards for authoring and responsibly publishing the results of scientific activities and will respect the intellectual property rights of others.

(5)  I will welcome constructive criticism of my scientific activities and will be responsive to peer review.

(6)  I will provide constructive, objective, and professionally valid peer review of the work of others, free of any personal or professional jealousy, disputes, competition, non-scientific disagreement, or conflict of interest resulting from financial interests or personal or business relationships.  I will substantiate comments that I make with the same care with which I report my own work.

C.  Decision Makers.  In addition to paragraph 7A above, for all decision makers:

(1)  I will do my best to support the scientific activities of others and will not engage in dishonesty, fraud, misrepresentation, coercive manipulation, censorship, or other misconduct that alters the content, veracity, or meaning or that may affect the planning, conduct, reporting, or use of scientific activities.

(2)  I will offer respectful, constructive, and objective review of scientific activities of employees I supervise and will encourage them to obtain appropriate peer reviews of their work.  I will respect the intellectual property rights of others and will substantiate comments that I make about their work with the same care with which I carry out and report the results of my own activities.

(3)  I will adhere to appropriate standards for reporting, documenting, and applying results of scientific activities used in decision making and ensure public access to those results in accordance with Departmental policy and established laws.
 
8. Procedures for Reporting and Resolving Allegations Regarding Loss of Scientific and Scholarly Integrity.  The USGS is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the scientific activities it conducts or are conducted on its behalf.  It will not tolerate loss of integrity in the performance of scientific and scholarly activities or in the application of science and scholarship in decision making.  Anyone who has concerns about an issue of scientific integrity at the USGS may contact the BSIO who has responsibility as an ombudsman including fostering effective communication and acting as a trusted and confidential intermediary and source of information, advice, and guidance on scientific and scholarly integrity.

A.  Reporting an Allegation. Procedures to follow for reporting and submitting formal allegations of scientific and scholarly misconduct with respect to USGS employees, volunteers, contractors, cooperators, partners, permittees, lessees, and grantees are found in 305 DM 3, section 3.8 (A) and the Scientific Integrity Procedures Handbook, Chapter II.  Allegations should be submitted to the BSIO or the Office of the Executive Secretariat and Regulatory Affairs (OES).  An allegation of scientific misconduct must be in writing and include all of the following information:

(1)  The name and signature of the person submitting the complaint, including any organizational affiliation.

(2)  The name of the person(s) or organization alleged to have committed the scientific misconduct or the loss of scientific integrity, if known.

(3)  A statement of facts (including dates, locations, and actions) that support the complaint, including when and how the complainant first learned of such facts.

(4)  An explanation of how the criteria for scientific misconduct (as laid out in Section 5, paragraphs B, C, or D) or loss of scientific integrity (as laid out in Section 5, paragraph E) are met, including, for loss of scientific integrity: (1) citations or other information identifying the accepted practices of the relevant scientific community, and (2) an explanation of how the complained-of actions, or both, constitute a significant departure from those practices.

(5)  An explanation of any conflict(s) of interest (as defined in paragraph 3.5 J) that the complainant has with the subject(s), entity(ies), or situation(s) named in the complaint.

(6)  A statement indicating whether he/she also submitted some or all of the facts of their complaint elsewhere, such as Office of Ethics, a Human Resources Office, Office of Special Counsel, OIG, etc.

B.  Receipt of an Allegation.

(1)  The OES will refer allegations pertaining to the USGS to the (USGS) BSIO.  The detailed process to follow after receipt of an allegation is outlined in 305 DM 3, section 3.8 (B-H).  An abbreviated version of this process for allegations is provided in C-H below.

(2)  Throughout the allegation/inquiry process, confidentiality will be maintained and identities of the subject of the allegation, their organization, and person submitting the allegation will be protected to the extent permissible under law.  The BSIO will retain the assistance of USGS subject-matter experts or other experts, as appropriate. 

C.  Initial Processing of an Allegation (Employees and Volunteers Only).

(1)  The BSIO will promptly conduct an initial review of the complaint and determine whether the complaint is complete and can be acted upon.  If the initial review indicates that the complaint is timely, complete, alleges a viable claim of scientific misconduct or a loss of scientific integrity, or both, and after consulting with both the complainant and the subject of the complaint, the BSIO determines that a reasonable person would conclude that there could be scientific misconduct or loss of scientific integrity, then the BSIO will conduct an inquiry.  If those initial review determinations are not affirmed by the BSIO, the matter is closed and the complainant and subject of the compliant are notified.

(2)  If the complaint alleges a case of scientific misconduct or a loss of scientific integrity but also involves matters that may be within the purview of another complaint process, such as an OIG or Information Quality Act complaint, then the DSIO/BSIO must coordinate with the responsible office(s) with respect to investigative responsibilities.  If the complaint involves matters that are the subject of an active complaint against the Federal Government, then the BSIO will work with the SOL to coordinate the scientific integrity investigation with other legal processes as appropriate.  If the complaint is against a contractor, cooperator, partner, permittee, lessee, or grantee, the DSIO/BSIO will follow the procedures under paragraph 8.I below.
 
D.  Inquiry of an Allegation.  If the initial review indicates that the complaint is timely, complete, and has merit, the BSIO will conduct an inquiry into the complaint.  During the inquiry phase, a Coordinating Manager will be appointed to work with the BSIO throughout the inquiry.  The subject(s) of the inquiry will be provided notice and allowed the opportunity to provide a statement and other material the subject believes is relevant to the complaint.  The BSIO will gather documents, other evidence, and conduct interviews.  The BSIO may also request that a SIRP be established to address specific questions posed by the BSIO.

E.  Formal Review and Fact Finding by the SIRP.

(1)  If the BSIO working with the Coordinating Manager determines that a formal review and further fact finding by a panel of experts is required to address specific questions posed by the BSIO, then the BSIO may request the USGS Deputy Director to convene a SIRP to assist the BSIO in further fact finding and review.  Following approval to convene a SIRP, the BSIO will recommend the panelists and chairperson for the SIRP, subject to the approval of the USGS Deputy Director.  Once the SIRP is convened, it will report to the BSIO until the inquiry is complete and may assist the BSIO with any part of the inquiry.

(2)  Within 45 calendar days of receipt of the complaint, the SIRP will provide to the BSIO a final report answering the questions posed by the BSIO.  The final report may make related recommendations, including changes to policy, but the report must not recommend any specific personnel actions or other corrective measures.

(3)  Detailed guidance for the establishment and operations of the SIRP is provided in the Scientific Integrity Procedures Handbook, Section 3.6 and the related Appendix.

F.  Report of Inquiry.  Within 90 calendar days of referral, the BSIO must issue a Report of Inquiry (ROI).  The ROI must contain:

(1)  A record of all the evidence (documents, SIRP final report, signed or affirmed witness statements, etc.) relied upon.

(2)  Findings of fact that reference the evidence of record.

(3)  A determination as to whether scientific misconduct or loss of scientific integrity has occurred and an explanation of the reasons for the determination.  A determination that misconduct or a loss of scientific integrity has occurred requires that:

(a)  There be a significant departure from accepted practices or standards of the relevant scientific community.

(b)  The actions causing the scientific misconduct or loss of scientific integrity be committed intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly.

(c)  The actions be proven by a preponderance of evidence.

(4)  The BSIO must provide the SOL an opportunity with a specific deadline to review and comment on the ROI prior to finalizing and, at the request of the Coordinating Manager, to provide a briefing about the legal issues.

(5)  The BSIO may extend the time to complete an ROI by up to 60 days.

G.  Distributing a Report of Inquiry.  Upon completion of the ROI, the BSIO must inform the OES that the finding and record are complete; close the case; and provide a copy of the ROI to the Coordinating Manager, the USGS Director, the USGS Deputy Director, the OES, and the SOL.

H.  Reconsideration of a BSIO Finding.  The subject(s) may file a request for reconsideration in order to present new relevant and material information about the findings of fact or determination.  The subject(s) must submit the request to the OES no later than 14 calendar days after receiving the notice of the finding.  The OES will log the request and send it to the DSIO.  If the request for reconsideration involves a matter previously decided by the DSIO, the Deputy Secretary must designate another SIO to consider this request.

(1)  If the request presents new relevant and material information, the DSIO or designee may conduct additional inquiries or convene a SIRP, as necessary, and amend the ROI as necessary to reflect any modified finding or additional factual information.

(2)  If the request does not present new relevant and material information, the DSIO may deny the request and notify the requester in writing of the denial.

(3)  The DSIO or person assigned should make a final decision on the request for reconsideration and related materials within 30 calendar days of receipt or assignment, whichever is later.

I.  Complaints Involving Contractors, Cooperators, Partners, Permittees, Lessees, or Grantees.
If a contractor, cooperator, partner, permittee, lessee, or grantee is the subject of the complaint, the BSIO must:

(1)  Conduct an initial review of the complaint, and, if warranted under paragraph 8C, contact the appropriate Federal official responsible for the activities of the contractor, cooperator, partner, permittee, lessee, or grantee to inform the official that a complaint of scientific misconduct or loss of scientific integrity has been filed.  The appropriate official could be the contracting officer, financial assistance official, or permit/lease manager.
 
(2)  The appropriate Federal official and the BSIO will notify the subject and the subject’s organization of the complaint.

(3)  No DOI inquiry will be conducted regarding a complaint against a cooperator, partner, permittee, lessee, or grantee until the BSIO and the appropriate Federal official have consulted the SOL.

9.  Participation as an Officer or Member on the Board of Directors of Professional Societies or other non-Federal Organizations.  The USGS encourages the enhancement of scientific and scholarly integrity through engagement with the communities of practice represented by professional societies.  USGS employees are encouraged to participate in outside professional organizations to enhance their professional development, especially when that participation advances the DOI and USGS missions, programs, and operations.  USGS scientists, scholars, and other professionals should engage in scientific, scholarly, and other activities with these professional networks in accordance with the guidelines found in 305 DM 3, section 3.9 and the Scientific Integrity Procedures Handbook, Chapter V and related Appendices.  All instructions and materials related to participating in outside professional organizations can also be found in the Ethics section of the internal OSQI Web site.

10.  Scientific Activity Requirements for Contractors, Cooperators, Partners, Permittees, Lessees, and Grantees.

A.  The USGS must ensure scientific activity and information being completed by contractors, cooperators, partners, permittees, lessees, and grantees meet scientific integrity requirements of this policy to ensure that the science provided to the USGS is of high quality and is trustworthy. USGS offices responsible for acquisitions, financial assistance agreements, permits, or leases must, in consultation with the Office of Acquisition and Property Management, insert standardized language (refer to the Scientific Integrity Procedures Handbook, Chapter IV) into any contract or agreement that includes activities covered under this policy.  The language must include a statement requiring adherence to this policy or its equivalent as provided by their organization or State law.  Applicable acquisitions and financial assistance agreements include, but are not limited to, those for minerals and biological assessments, mapping, digitizing and mapping analysis, research and development, wildlife surveys, modeling efforts,  scientific studies, and information synthesis.  Program Managers (PM)/Contracting Officer Representatives (COR) have ultimate responsibility for determining whether or not the scientific integrity statement is applicable and shall be included in a particular statement of work (SOW).

B.  The scientific integrity statement that must be included in all applicable SOWs is as follows:
Scientific integrity is vital to U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) activities under which scientific research, data, summaries, syntheses, interpretations, presentations, and/or publications are developed and used.  Failure to uphold the highest degree of scientific integrity will result not only in potentially flawed scientific results, interpretations, and applications but will damage the USGS’s reputation and ability to uphold the public’s trust.  All work performed will comply with the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Integrity of Scientific and Scholarly Activities Policy (305 DM 3, available at http://elips.doi.gov/elips/) and the USGS Scientific Integrity Policy (SM 500.25, available at http://www.usgs.gov/usgs-manual/).

C.  As stated in the DOI and USGS scientific integrity policies, contractors may be required to initiate inquiries into allegations of scientific misconduct.  Results of the contractor’s inquiry or any other correspondence regarding the allegations of misconduct shall be provided in writing to the Contracting Officer at a mutually agreeable date along with the following statement: “I, as a duly authorized agent of (insert name of company), attest that the information provided herein is true and accurate to the best of my knowledge.”

D.  Failure to comply with the DOI and USGS scientific integrity policies, including failing to conduct and/or truthfully report a requested investigation, may result in the Federal Government exercising any available remedy including, but not limited to, the remedies specified in section 3.8 of the DOI chapter 305 DM 3 and section 8 of the USGS chapter SM 500.25.

E.  If an SOW is received for one of the aforementioned acquisition topics without the scientific integrity statement (in section 10.B), the Contracting Officer should discuss with the PM/COR whether or not the scientific integrity statement is applicable and should be included.

 

/s/ Suzette M. Kimball                                                                       July 23, 2015
_________________________________________________       _______________
Suzette M. Kimball                                                                           Date
Acting Director, U.S. Geological Survey


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