The president of a small survey research firm, Mike Brown, receives a contract from a local government agency to conduct a survey of the local community to help design a policy on the most effective use of funds used to pay for heating costs of the low income and the older population. Mike has a professional interest in energy-related policies, so he includes three extra questions in the survey (at no cost to the government agency and without telling them) that he planned to analyze for a presentation at a professional meeting.
After the survey was done, Mike used the questions, along with two others collected for local government and some demographic data to prepare the paper. He did not ask the government agency for permission to use the data or allow them to review the paper because he said the data were public and the extra questions he subsidized.
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