In late summer 1999, the Council asked the Independent Scientific Review Panel (ISRP) to review sponsor provided responses to the ISRP’s original review comments on individual FY2000 proposals (ISRP 99-2, Volume II, 15 June 1999). This is a relatively unprecedented request, as previous ISRP (and ISAB) reviews, reports, and recommendations have not generally been opened for formal response by project sponsors and subjected to a re-review by the ISRP. In the long run, too frequent use of such an interactive review process might undermine the review role of independent review groups like the ISRP. However, recognizing the importance of the transition period from the annual review cycles of FY1998 through FY2000 to the new somewhat uncharted terrain of the three-year province-level rolling reviews, the ISRP willingly agreed to undertake this additional review step for resolution of funding status for FY2000 proposals where the ISRP recommended "fund in part," "delay funding" or "do not fund."
Sponsor responses were provided in a variety of formats. Responses for Columbia Fish and Wildlife Authority members were provided in the CBFWA Draft Annual Implementation Work Plan (DAIWP) of August 20, 1999. Anticipating additional review by the ISRP, Council also solicited sponsor responses for proposals. Sponsors were given the choice of using the CBFWA DAIWP response, revising and resubmitting the CBFWA response, providing their own response directly to Council, or submitting a response through the public comment process.
Responses were received for 100 proposals and distributed to the ISRP and Peer Review Group (PRG) members in early October. ISRP and PRG members that had reviewed the proposal originally reviewed the sponsor-provided response and determined whether the response adequately addressed the ISRP’s concerns that led to the qualified or negative recommendation. The ISRP’s review criteria are specified in the 1996 amendment to the Northwest Power Act, which states that project recommendations shall be based on a determination that projects:
- are based on sound science principles;
- benefit fish and wildlife;
- have a clearly defined objective and outcome
- with provisions for monitoring and evaluation of results, and
- are consistent with the Council’s fish and wildlife program.
The ISRP met for three days to review and discuss the 100 proposal responses. Responses were read carefully by at least three reviewers and presented to the larger ISRP and PRG review group for discussion. Responses were discussed and a determination reached whether or not the response had adequately addressed the ISRP’s review comments and concerns (Table 1).