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Articles on Law, Science, and Engineering

Scientific Misconduct: Part I - The Federal Rules (cont'd)


Dealing with informants

"(i) If an informant requests anonymity, the OSI will make every effort to honor that request.
(ii) When an informant has made allegations to the OSI instead of to the pertinent institution, the OSI will review those allegations to determine if there are grounds for opening an inquiry. If so, the OSI will provide all pertinent information to the institution, requesting that the institution conduct an inquiry (the source of the allegation(s) will not be identified if he or she requests anonymity). If the institution is unable or unwilling to initiate its own inquiry, the OSI will conduct the inquiry and investigation, as appropriate, and maintain contact with and seek further information from the informant, as necessary.
(iii) The OSI will also maintain contact with and seek further information from informants when it otherwise conducts inquiries and/or investigations as provided in these policies and procedures.
(iv) When the OSI concludes an inquiry or investigation, the person who made the allegations will normally be provided with the parts of the draft report pertinent to his or her allegations, and provided an opportunity to review and comment on it. This is done in part to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the inquiry or investigation. (PHS proposed rule 1.6 (b)(2))

Independent Review of Investigations

"At the conclusion of an investigation, subjects are provided by OSI with an opportunity to comment on and rebut the proposed investigative findings and sanctions, if any. Following incorporation of any changes made in response to such comments, OSI will forward proposed findings and sanctions and any comments and rebuttal made by the subject(s), to OSIR for its independent review. OSIR will review this material for thoroughness, completeness and objectivity. If OSIR believes that any changes in investigative conclusions or proposed sanctions are appropriate, OSIR will consult with OSI to reach a final conclusion. OSIR will then prepare a decision memorandum for the ASH containing final recommendations for findings and sanctions for those found culpable of scientific misconduct. Final decisions on misconduct findings and sanctions are made by the ASH, except for any proposed debarment which must be approved by the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management and Acquisition and at the request of the individual is subject to review de novo at an administrative hearing as set forth at 45 CFR part 76. ((PHS proposed rule 1.6 (c))

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