by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Officials with the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have yet to tell Congress they’ve punished a pair of scientists behind nearly two decades of data manipulation at a federal lab or what’s been done to prevent more of it, according to a key congressman investigating the scandal.
“We haven’t received assurance that the agency has taken the necessary steps to prevent future, intentional misconduct or that any employees were truly held accountable for these indefensible actions,” Rep. Louis Gohmert told The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group.
The Texas Republican is chairman of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, which is investigating the data manipulation.
Two USGS scientists manipulated data at a Lakewood, Colo., lab for nearly its entire existence from 1996 to 2014. Managers willfully neglected the falsification, and the agency learned how to prevent future manipulation as early as 2008, but the issue still isn’t fixed, TheDCNF previously reported.
The USGS has repeatedly refused to say if any person has been punished or fired for the manipulation.
Gohmert’s panel has investigated the issue since June 2016, but hasn’t uncovered many answers. The USGS gave the subcommittee a batch of documents, but many were completely redacted, making them useless.
“The more we dig in, the more questions arise,” Gohmert told TheDCNF. “We’re not talking about just a few fudged numbers, we’re talking nearly two decades of continuous data manipulation. We are still trying to understand the entire scope of the problem. Is this isolated to just one lab? Is similar misconduct happening elsewhere?”