"The Department of Interior issued a new draft policy on scientific integrity on Tuesday, a long overdue addition to the agency's manual outlining the rules and regulations for employees when it comes to ensuring that their decisions are based on sound science. It's certainly a step in the right direction, given such a policy didn't even exist previously. But there are still concerns that the policy doesn't go far enough in reforming an agency known for ignoring (or outright manipulating) scientific findings.
In the wake of the BP disaster, Interior has come under increased scrutiny when it comes to its enforcement and oversight activities. The Minerals Management Service, now renamed the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, has been singled out for the bulk of the criticism. As the agency's Inspector General pointed out in April, in its not-so-subtly-titled report "Interior Lacks a Scientific Integrity Policy," DOI's other divisions have also fallen down on the job when it comes to upholding sound scientific practices. At fault, the IG says, has been the lack of a policy on the subject."