Approved by the: University Senate - February 18, 1999

RESOLUTION REGARDING PROTECTION OF RESEARCH DATA

Whereas, the appropriations bill passed in October 1998 provides that the Director of the Office of Management and Budget amend OMB Circular A-110 to require Federal awarding agencies to ensure that all data produced under an award will be made available to the public through the procedures established under the Freedom of Information Act. The new language potentially makes all data in whatever stage of analysis available to anyone asking for it.

Resolved:

(1) The Senate is strongly opposed to this new provision because of its potential deleterious effects on researchers’ abilities to carry out their research without external interference and its potential to compromise the confidentiality of human subjects in sponsored research studies,

(2) The Senate strongly urges that the University support current national efforts to have this language removed from the appropriations bill so that the original intent of the Freedom of Information Act can be kept intact,

(3) The Senate also strongly urges the Minnesota Congressional delegation to join in sponsoring legislation to repeal the new requirements, and

(4) The Senate also strongly urges that so long as the law remains in effect, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget adopt rules to eliminate or reduce the adverse impacts by protecting confidentiality, preventing harassment, and providing for full reimbursement of compliance costs.

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