Friday, July 12, 2002

A reader asks how the Federal Data Quality Act relates to the Shelby Amendment of a couple of years ago. John responds:

This 9-15-99 column credits Sen. Shelby for inserting a data disclosure provision
in the 1998 omnibus appropriation bill. The column accuses the Clinton administration of trying to gut the law through regulations in 1999.

The Bray column I quoted below doesn't mention Shelby. It says the Federal Data Quality Act was inserted in the 2000 appropriation bill by Rep. Jo Ann Emerson. It says the provision was drafted by the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness, a group which specializes in this issue and has collected numerous articles and resources.

As I recall, the Shelby Amendment was prompted by some dubious high-profile academic studies that were being used to change public policy. One was a study that Joe Camel was more recognized among children than Mickey Mouse. The universities refused to release the raw data, even though the study was funded by the federal government.

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