New Limitations on Science and Environmental Policy Information

The Diva does not usually deal with national political matters, but a new decision by the Trump administration affects information that is essential to emergency management researchers and practitioners. See this article from the Wash. Post on Jan. 25.

Federal agencies ordered to restrict their communications.   Some excerpts:

Trump administration officials instructed employees at multiple agencies in recent days to cease communicating with the public through news releases, official social media accounts and correspondence, raising concerns that federal employees will be able to convey only information that supports the new president’s agenda.

The new limits on public communications appear to be targeting agencies that are charged with overseeing environmental and scientific policy, prompting criticism from officials within the agencies and from outside groups focused on climate change.

Reuters reported the story with a blunter headline: Trump Administration Seeks to Muzzle U.S. Agency Employees.

2 thoughts on “New Limitations on Science and Environmental Policy Information

  1. What WaPo didn’t say was that this is a very temporary stoppage to allow review of agency policies. My understanding is that this applies to all agencies. Much more troublesome is the review of the grant processes. If temporary, OK. But my guess is that that one could go on a while – not necessarily out of malevolence but simply because the “process” is broken.

    In fact, there is no single process – each agency interprets the Federal Acquisition Requirements in their own [peculiar] way. The processes for awarding the two centers of excellence (one by NIST, one by DHS) is instructive. NIST asked for fairly straightforward proposals and then awarded to what they considered the best team – end of story. DHS, on the other hand, was highly prescriptive in their approach (with much longer proposals) and essentially restructured the winning proposal (similar to the way DOD handles major acquisitions) and team after the decision was made. All this to say that reviewing how each agency handles grants may take quite a long time depending upon the scope of the review. Since many federal agencies are essentially bankrolling state agencies (e.g., Department of Energy, DHS, DHHS) any stoppage significantly impacts the capability of state governments to do their jobs.

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