Confusion Over Federal Agency Public Information Guidelines

Keith's note: According to NASA HQ PAO there is no change in NASA policy with regard to the release of data or information to the public.

White House says no curb on federal agency media activities, Reuters

"The White House denied on Wednesday that the new Trump administration ordered a curb on the flow of information from several government agencies involved in environmental issues. "They have not been directed by us to do anything," White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters, adding employees have been told to adhere to their agency's own policies. "But that directive did not come from here."

EPA science under scrutiny by Trump political staff, AP

"The Trump administration is mandating that any studies or data from scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency undergo review by political appointees before they can be released to the public. The communications director for President Donald Trump's transition team at EPA, Doug Ericksen, said Wednesday the review also extends to content on the federal agency's website, including details of scientific evidence showing that the Earth's climate is warming and man-made carbon emissions are to blame. Former EPA staffers said Wednesday the restrictions imposed under Trump far exceed the practices of past administrations."

Firestorm over supposed gag order on USDA scientists was self-inflicted wound, agency says, Science

"Don't blame this one on the Trump administration. In a bungled attempt to anticipate the wishes of their new political bosses, the U.S. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) on Monday imposed what was widely interpreted as a gag order on its scientists communicating with the public. But a senior ARS official tells ScienceInsider that it was a poorly-worded effort by career officials - not anyone appointed by Trump -- to remind employees of a longstanding U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) policy on clearing statements that have policy relevance with senior officials before releasing them."

After huge outcry, USDA scales back its limits on scientists' contacts with public, Geekwire

"U.S. Department of Agriculture officials have rescinded an order that barred its researchers from releasing "public-facing documents," ranging from news releases and photos to social media posts."

Information lockdown hits Trump's federal agencies, Politico

"On Monday, the Transportation Department advised its employees not to publish news releases or engage on DOT's social media accounts until they get more guidance from the new administration. The move was not a "ban," a department spokesperson told POLITICO, and DOT's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration continued to tweet about distracted driving and vehicle recalls. Meanwhile, employees at HHS and the National Institutes of Health received a memo telling them to halt external correspondence. "For your additional awareness, please note that we have been directed not to send any correspondence to public officials (to include Members of Congress and state and local officials) between now and February 3, unless specifically authorized by the Department," said one section of the memo, which was obtained by POLITICO."

USDA Scientists Have Been Put On Lockdown Under Trump, Buzzfeed

"The US Department of Agriculture has banned scientists and other employees in its main research division from publicly sharing everything from the summaries of scientific papers to USDA-branded tweets as it starts to adjust to life under the Trump administration, BuzzFeed News has learned. According to an email sent Monday morning and obtained by BuzzFeed News, the department told staff - including some 2,000 scientists - at the agency's main in-house research arm, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), to stop communicating with the public about taxpayer-funded work. "Starting immediately and until further notice, ARS will not release any public-facing documents," Sharon Drumm, chief of staff for ARS, wrote in a department-wide email shared with BuzzFeed News."

EPA Freezes Grants, Tells Employees Not To Talk About It, Sources Say, Huffington Post

"The Environmental Protection Agency has frozen its grant programs, according to sources there. EPA staff has been instructed to freeze all its grants - an extensive program that includes funding for research, redevelopment of former industrial sites, air quality monitoring and education, among other things - and told not to discuss this order with anyone outside the agency, according to a Hill source with knowledge of the situation. An EPA staffer provided the information to the congressional office anonymously, fearing retaliation."

Trump's pick to lead Commerce Department says NOAA scientists can freely share their work, Washington Post

"Scientists have expressed concern that the Trump administration may impede the communication of climate science findings and data. But Trump's pick for secretary of commerce, Wilbur Ross, says scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will be permitted to share peer-reviewed work with the public. Such concern increased early this week as the Trump administration issued a "media blackout" at the Environmental Protection Agency, banning news releases, blog updates or posts to the agency's social media accounts, according to the Associated Press. In addition, science researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture were ordered to stop publishing news releases."

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on January 25, 2017 8:05 PM.

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