The article published at Pajamas Media, Climategate Computer Codes Are the Real Story, is the best explanation of why the global warming scientists have been so passionate in avoiding the Freedom of Information act requests. These scientists knew they were in a lose-lose predicament. They knew they were brushing up with the law if they ignored the freedom of information act requests but they definitely did not want Steve McIntyre to look at the raw data and the programs and go ballistic. So they decided to replicate the results using synthesized data and prayed that they could put off the freedom of information act requests indefinitely.
As an IT guy in my day job I have seen this problem and it is called lax change management. In the professional programming world there are a multitude of horror stories associated with lax change management. This problem has been attributed to major cost overruns, project cancellations, and occasionally the failure of a company. To avoid these types of problems most companies have instituted a very simple and effective philosophy. You skirt the rules of change management and something goes wrong, you are fired!
Somewhere some important people are gathering and trying to figure out what to do with these scientists and their projects. Global warming science is important but are these scientists “too big to fail”? I am not sure an audit or internal investigation will satisfy either the politicians or the public. Such a waste of time and money! This is going to get uglier before it gets better. There are probably several ideas the scientific community probably needs to implement to avoid disasters like this in the future. As a starter maybe the scientific community will finally open its publicly funded projects to outside scrutiny much earlier in the game.