February 9, 2012
Dear Mr. Chairman,
This letter responds to your letters dated January 25 and January 31, 2012, requesting additional information regarding the manner in which the scope of peer review was described in the Executive Summary of the Department of the Interior's (Department's) 2010 report entitled "Increased Safety Measures for Energy Development on the Outer Continental Shelf" (ISM Report). Although the scope of the peer review as described in the executive summary of the ISM Report has already been publically addressed by the Department and thoroughly examined by the independent OIG, which found no intent to mislead, with this letter tlle Department continues to provide documents and make offers of accommodation as part of the Department's ongoing effort to accommodate the Committee's information needs.
Both the Committee's January 25 and 31 letters include a request for additional documents concerning communications with the peer reviewers as well as documents related to an apology letter sent by Deputy Secretary David Hayes to peer reviewers, additional documents regarding meetings between Secretary Salazar and the peer reviewers, and documents concerning drafts of any press releases or communications materials concerning the release of the ISM Report. The Department is in the process of reviewing the vast amount of material it has gathered related generally to the moratorium while initiating a new search for responsive documents from the specific individuals mentioned in the January 25 and 31 letters. As an initial production, the Department is producing 36 pages of internal Departmental emails, which we are transmitting to the Committee on the enclosed CD, entitled "00035235_Hastings_002". These materials supplement the production of correspondences with the peer reviewers previously produced by the Department on October 24, 2011. The Department is also prepared to provide your staff with the opportunity to review additional documents in camera regarding communications and meetings with the peer reviewers. We expect to supplement these offers in the near future.
Read the entire letter HERE.