In considering Phil Jones’ request to delete emails, attention has focussed on this action relative to UK FOI. However, at the time, Phil Jones was funded by the US Department of Energy. Readers may be interested in considering the potential effect.
That Jones was funded by the US Department of Energy has been known for some time, but it’s not something that I’d specifically reflected on in connection with the deletion request.
What brought it to my attention was browsing through the Climategate emails leading up to Jones’ delete request. Only a few emails earlier, also in May 2008, an accountant for the US Department of Energy (the Chicago office of their Office of Science) asked Jones for cost allocations. The memo shows that Jones was being funded by the DOE during the period April-June 2008. In other words, Jones’ delete request was funded by the US Department of Energy.
Here’s the email:
Subject: Request for Cost date for DOE Grant
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 13:44:38 -0500
From: “Richardson, Catherine”
East Anglia University
SUBJECT: REQUEST FOR COST INFORMATION
In accordance with the Presidents Management Agenda, there has been and continues to be a Government-wide movement to ensure that the American people receive better results for their money. Thus, all government entities are striving to improve the quality, accuracy, and timeliness of financial information regarding the results of operations and overall performance. As we seek to accomplish this goal, we are requesting cost data from our Grant recipients that have received significant financial assistance monies from the Department of Energy Office of Science – Chicago Office. The requested information, summarized below, will assist in our continuing efforts to ensure that we produce accurate and timely financial information. We need your assistance in the following areas:
A. Providing Cumulative Cost Data:
For most of the awards administered by the Office of Science – Chicago Office, there is a financial reporting requirement to submit cost data on the Financial Status Report (SF-269) at the end of the project period. Currently, there is no requirement for you to submit cost data on a more frequent basis. However, in order to achieve our goal of improving the quality, accuracy, and timeliness of our financial information, the Departments external independent auditors have insisted that we confirm cumulative cost balances with Grantees that have received significant financial assistance monies at least annually. For each grant award listed, we request that you provide the
DOE Grant Award(s) No.
1. Cumulative actual Cost through March 31, 2008 (from inception of the award):
2. Your best estimate for costs to be incurred for April through June 30, 2008:
3. Your best estimate for costs to be incurred for July through September 30, 2008:
We are not requiring a specific or formal format for the requested information.
Instead, please e-mail your cost data as requested above for each identified grant award to Catherine Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please direct your comments and/or questions to Ms. Richardson at 630/252-6276.
B. Requesting Advances and Reimbursements:
Consistent with our efforts to improve the Departments financial information, we are reviewing significant unpaid balances on our financial assistance awards as well as any credit balances on the Quarterly Federal Cash Transactions Reports (SF-272) which would indicate a delay between the performance of the work and the requests for reimbursements submitted to us from your organization. The Departments external auditors and other users of financial information are concluding that these unpaid balances may not be used and possibly should be withdrawn. Therefore, we request that you:
Review your existing procedures for requesting advances and reimbursements from DOE; and Ensure that the delay between the performance of work and subsequent reimbursements is as minimal as administratively possible.
If this situation does not apply to your organization, no action is required on your part. We appreciate your support in this important initiative. If you have any questions, please call Cornell Williams at 630/252-2394 or e-mail him at email@example.com.
US Department of Energy
Office of Science – Chicago Office
From: Phil Jones [
Sent: Thursday, May 01, 2008 9:44 AM
To: Meardon Fiona Miss (RBS); Meldrum Alicia Dr (RBS); Cater Sandra Mrs (FIN)
Subject: Fwd: Request for Cost date for DOE Grant Alicia, Fiona, Sandra, Hope this doesn’t take too long to work out and send to Catherine.
If you need any help let me know.
At 12:08 07/05/2008, Cater Sandra Mrs \(FIN\) wrote:
I have reconciled the account to date and propose to send the following figures all in US$ Received to date 1,589,632.00
Staff buyout Jones 71,708.00
Cons actual to date 9,650.00
Travel actual to date 6,940.00
Indirect costs on above 66,200.00
Total to 30/04/08 1,744,130.00
April to June 08
Staff Jones 19,290.00
Cons 10,550.00 includes some of the previous year underspend Travel 3,840.00 as above Indirect costs 25,200.00 Total 58,880.00
July to Sep 08
Staff Jones 19,290.00
Cons 3,200.00 includes some previous under spend Travel 4,500.00 as above Indirect costs 20,200.00 Total 47,190.00
These figures keep within the allocated budget. Please let me know if you agree this I will e-mail Catherine.
Sandra M Cater
University of East Anglia
From: Phil Jones
To: “Cater Sandra Mrs \(FIN\)” “Meardon Fiona Miss \(RBS\)”
“Meldrum Alicia Dr \(RBS\)”
Subject: RE: Request for Cost date for DOE Grant
Date: Wed May 7 12:42:32 2008
These will be fine. Keep a note of these in the file to check against when the later claims are made.