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Independent Assessment of Allegations of Scientific Misconduct Filed Under The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Scientific Integrity Policy

NOAA, WFO, SIO

In September 2019, NOAA’s Scientific Integrity Officer (SIO) received four complaints of alleged violations of scientific integrity filed under the NOAA Scientific Integrity Policy (NOAA Administrative Order 202-735D: Scientific Integrity). The allegations relate to a specific NOAA public statement issued on September 6, 2019 regarding a tweet previously issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Birmingham, Alabama, on September 1, 2019.

NOAA’s SIO engaged the National Academy of Public Administration to conduct an independent assessment of those allegations. The goal of the assessment was to determine by a preponderance of evidence, meaning the standard of proof of making a finding of misconduct under NOAA’s Scientific Integrity Policy and accompanying Procedural Handbook, if the NOAA personnel involved with the development and issuance of the September 6 Statement violated NOAA’s Scientific Integrity Policy and engaged in the misconduct intentionally, knowingly, or in reckless disregard of the Scientific Integrity Policy. Pursuant to the Scope of Work, the Academy was tasked to:

  • Determine if scientific misconduct or loss of scientific integrity has not occurred and the allegation be dismissed; or
  • Determine if scientific misconduct or loss of scientific integrity has occurred and recommend any specific action by NOAA to restore scientific integrity.

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Final Report