NOAA’s news release on the IG report contains the following misrepresentation of NOAA’s repudiation of FOI requests:
The report questions the way NOAA handled a response to four FOIA requests in 2007. The FOIA requests sought documents related to the review and comments of part of an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. NOAA scientists were given legal advice that IPCC work done by scientists were records of the IPCC, not NOAA. The requesters were directed to the IPCC, which subsequently made available the review, comments and responses which are online at IPCC and http://www.hcl.harvard.edu.
“The NOAA scientists responded in good faith to the FOIA requests based on their understanding of the request and in accordance with the legal guidance provided in 2007,” Glackin said.
I reviewed the actual statements in the Inspector General report earlier today here. The Inspector General said that there was a divergence between Solomon’s evidence and the evidence of the NOAA attorneys, the latter denied giving “legal advice that IPCC work done by scientists were records of the IPCC, not NOAA”, with Susan Solomon unable to provide any documentation of ever receiving such evidence.
NOAA’s assertion that Solomon had been “given legal advice that IPCC work done by scientists were records of the IPCC, not NOAA” is not a finding of the report. Solomon claimed that she’d been given such advice, but the NOAA lawyers denied giving it to her, with the IG saying that he was unable to reconcile the divergent claims.
NOAA’s assertion in the press release misrepresents the IG report, a misrepresentation that has been picked up by various news outlets, e.g. CBC here.