Washington Update

HHS Issues Draft Scientific Integrity Policy for Public Comment

By: Yvette Seger
Wednesday, July 26, 2023
On July 20, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a request for comments on its draft Scientific Integrity Policy. Developed in response to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Framework for Federal Scientific Integrity Policy and Practice issued earlier this year, the HHS policy seeks “to ensure the integrity of all aspects of HHS scientific activities, including proposing, conducting, reviewing, managing, and communicating about science and scientific activities, and using the results of science to inform policy and program decision making.” Comments on the draft policy are due September 1.

Like the OSTP Scientific Integrity Policy issued in May, the HHS policy establishes the core values and defines the specific roles for leadership to maintain scientific integrity across the department and respective agencies. To ensure consistent implementation of the policy, HHS proposes the establishment of a Scientific Integrity Council—composed of one senior career employee from each HHS division as well as the directors of the Offices of Research Integrity and Human Research Protections. Additionally, specific roles and responsibilities of employees at all levels within the department, ranging from the secretary to HHS employees and other covered individuals, are outlined.