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Objectivity Of DOD's Senior Scientific Advisory Committees Can Be Better Assured
The Department of Defense established its senior scientific advisory committees to provide independent advice and information to the military services. The committees conduct their work primarily through panels. Each panel performs a specific task or study. The services have procedures for (1) identifying potential conflicts of interest of panel members, (2) selecting individuals to serve on panels, and (3) announcing panel meetings and preparing minutes of meetings. improvements in these areas could, however, better assure the appearance of independence--hence objectivity--of the services senior scientific advisory panels. The direct involvement of DOD personnel in panel decision making also bears on the apparent independence of the panels.
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