Report claims FDA is behind the times on employees' free speech
- The Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit science advocacy group, has released a report claiming that the FDA does not measure up to other federal agencies when it comes to freedom of speech or social media policies, the Wall Street Journal reports.
- The group reviewed 17 federal agencies, including the FDA, and while most of the other groups received good grades regarding employee free speech, the FDA received a "C" in terms of conventional media policies.
- The Union of Concerned Scientists pointed out that sometimes the reasons policies are so strict is to protect the agency from political or commercial forces that may interfere with the ability of employees to properly do their jobs and accomplish the agency's mission.
The whole point of having very strict communication policies is to maintain the integrity of the agency and its goals. However, despite this, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the FDA is still lacking in terms of having a definitive social media policy at all.
There is also the problem of employees' rights within the context of the specific rules. Specifically, this relates to the right of an employee to review the final drafts of any publication prior to its release—even if said publication is being released under their name.
On a larger level, there has been an overall improvement at federal agencies, specifically in terms of whistleblower provisions and agency procedures for resolving disputes, according to the report.