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Responsibilities of the Director [2] [index]

As noted above, the Director now reports directly to the Secretary. The Director's responsibilities include overseeing and directing Public Health Service (PHS) research integrity activities, and coordinating the development of research integrity policies. In this connection, on June 9, 1994, HAG published the Revised Guidelines for Hearings Before the Research Integrity Adjudications Panel [3] of the Departmental Appeals Board [4] (Guidelines). The Guidelines are described more fully below.

The Director's responsibilities also include evaluating and monitoring PHS research integrity activities. The activities to be evaluated and monitored include case investigations and evaluations.

The Director also evaluates and monitors institutional assurance programs. The vacuum left by institutional reluctance to police itself is being filled.

In addition, the Director coordinates development of what constitutes "misconduct" [5] and evaluates and monitors "prevention and education activities." The vacuum left by the failure of research scientists and their sponsoring groups (e.g. FASEB) to deal with misconduct is also being filled.

The Director is also responsible for coordinating the development of "specific whistleblower protection and guidelines to discourage malicious allegations of misconduct." The usual legal definition of a "malicious act" is one done wrongfully and intentionally without just cause or excuse. [6] Presumably, erroneous allegations of misconduct will not be discouraged as long as they are not malicious. It is astonishing that there is no evidence researchers objected to this part of the Statement during the period it was open for public comment.

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