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Strengthening Science Supporting Fishery Management. Standards for Best Available Science Implementation of OMB’s Peer Review Bulletin Separation between Science & Management. Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee June 7-10, 2005 Washington DC. National Standard 2 to Magnuson-Stevens:.

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Strengthening Science Supporting

Fishery Management

  • Standards for Best Available Science
  • Implementation of OMB’s Peer Review Bulletin
  • Separation between Science & Management

Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee

June 7-10, 2005

Washington DC


National Standard 2 to Magnuson-Stevens:

“Conservation and management measures shall be based upon the best scientific information available.”

  • How do we determine and assure the science we use is the best?
  • What do we do when there are recognized gaps in the science that is available?

Importance of National Standard 2

  • affirms the role of science as the basis for

management decision-making

  • has resulted in a set of procedures and guidance for selecting “best” from a number of potential science alternatives (differ regionally)
  • stipulates that the lack of perfect science will not be used to delay implementation of required measures, when indicated by the preponderance of available information
  • implies commitment to improving science used in decision-making

National Research Council Study (NRC 2004)

  • How should adherence to NS-2 be Measured?
  • How and when should it be employed?
  • Should NS-2 be employed to exclude inadequate data or should it be ranked and applied in relation to relevance & rigor?
  • Workshop & several studies
  • recommendations & guidance

Proposed NRC Guidelines for

Production and Use of

Scientific Information in FMPs

  • Transparency &


  • Timeliness
  • Peer Review
  • Relevance
  • Inclusiveness
  • Objectivity
omb peer review bulletin introduction
OMB Peer Review Bulletin Introduction
  • Background
  • Basics of Bulletin
  • Application
  • What’s Covered
  • What’s Not
  • Peer Review Standards
  • Agency Requirements
  • Important Dates
  • Conclusion
  • Information Quality Act
    • Ensure and maximize quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information disseminated by NOAA
    • Administrative mechanism allowing affected persons to seek and obtain correction of information that does not comply with OMB and NOAA Guidelines
    • Report to OMB number and nature of requests received and how they were handled by NOAA
  • OMB Peer Review Bulletin applies to two types of information products covered by IQA
    • Influential scientific information, and
    • Highly influential scientific assessments, a subset of influential scientific information
basics of bulletin
Basics of Bulletin
  • Bulletin establishes:
    • Minimum peer review standards
    • Transparent process for public disclosure
    • Opportunity for public input
  • Bulletin issued under the IQA and OMB’s general authorities to oversee the quality of agency information, analyses and regulatory activities
what s covered
What’s Covered
  • Influential scientific information
    • Scientific information that the agency reasonably can determine will have or does have a clear and substantial impact on important public policies or private sector decisions
  • Scientific assessment
    • An evaluation of a body of scientific or technical knowledge that typically synthesizes multiple factual inputs, data, models, assumptions, and/or applies best professional judgment to bridge uncertainties in the available information
  • Highly influential scientific assessments
    • (i) Could have a potential impact of more than $500 million in any year, or
    • (ii) Is novel, controversial, or precedent-setting or has significant interagency interest
what s not
What’s Not
  • Exclusions of Section 515 incorporated into Bulletin; examples include:
        • Distribution limited to government employees or agency contractors or grantees
        • Intra- or inter-agency use or sharing of government information
        • Responses to requests for agency records under FOIA, the Privacy Act, the Federal Advisory Committee Act, etc.
        • Correspondence with individuals or persons, press releases, archival records, public filings, subpoenas and adjudicative processes.
        • Research produced by government-funded scientists if that information does not represent the views of the agency (must include a specific disclaimer)
what s not1
What’s Not
  • Exemptions specific to the Peer Review Bulletin
    • Information related to national security or foreign affairs
    • Regulatory impact analysis or regulatory flexibility analysis under EO 12866
    • Routine statistical information
    • Information distributed for peer review in compliance with the Bulletin (must include a specific disclaimer)
peer review standards two levels
Peer Review Standards:Two Levels
  • Standards for influential scientific information
  • Standards for highly influential scientific assessments include those above, plus several others
peer review standards influential scientific information
Peer Review Standards: Influential Scientific Information
  • Selection of reviewers
    • Expertise and balance
    • Conflicts of interest
    • Independence
  • Choice of peer review mechanism
  • Transparency
  • Management of peer review process and reviewer selection
peer review standards highly influential scientific assessments
Peer Review Standards:Highly Influential Scientific Assessments
  • All standards for influential scientific information, plus
  • Selection of reviewers
    • Expertise and balance
    • Conflicts
    • Independence
    • Rotation
  • Information access
  • Opportunity for public participation
  • Transparency
  • Management of peer review process and reviewer selection
peer review standards alternative procedures
Peer Review Standards:Alternative Procedures
  • Agency may:
    • rely on the principal findings, conclusions and recommendations of a report produced by the National Academy of Sciences;
    • commission the National Academy of Sciences to peer review an agency’s draft scientific information; or
    • employ an alternative scientific procedure or process, specifically approved by the Administrator of OIRA in consultation with the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), that ensures the agency’s scientific information satisfies applicable information quality standards
noaa requirements
NOAA Requirements
  • Peer Review Agenda
  • Peer Review Plans
  • Public Comment
  • Annual Reports
  • Certification in the Administrative Record
  • Populate DOC web site
important dates
Important Dates
  • Bulletin applies to information disseminated on or after June 16, 2005
    • Except for information for which the agency has already provided a draft report and an associated charge to peer reviewers
  • Section V peer review planning requirements for highly influential scientific assessments apply as of June 16, 2005
  • Section V peer review planning requirements for influential scientific information apply as of December 16, 2005
  • Annual Reports - December 15 of each year
  • Peer Review Agenda on DOC web site – by June 16, 2005
  • Line and Staff Offices must be made aware of requirements
  • NOAA must have requirements for highly influential scientific assessments in place by June 16, 2005
  • Call for agenda items in mid-March
  • NOAA web site must be operational by June 16, 2005
  • Compliance with the Bulletin should be addressed early in the development of information products
discussion separating science management
Discussion: Separating Science & Management
  • Administratively within NOAA Fisheries Service
  • Use of Peer Review Mechanisms by Councils (e.g., SSCs, SSS –SAW/SEDAR/STAR)
  • Use of Peer Review Products in Decision Making
  • Certification that Management Complies with BAS
  • Development of guidelines to formalize science-management relationships