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NSTC Launches Government-wide Initiative Based on OIG Draft Guidance for HHS Research Grants

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Inspector General Daniel R. Levinson of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced today that OIG has concurred with the Committee on Science (COS), National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) offer to expand upon OIG’s initial efforts to provide voluntary compliance guidance to recipients of Federal research funding. The Committee on Science met today and concurred that their Research Business Models Subcommittee will establish an inter-agency initiative to develop voluntary compliance guidelines for recipients of Federal research funding from all agencies across the Federal Government. OIG’s “Draft Compliance Program Guidance for Recipients of PHS [Public Health Service] Research Awards” (Draft Guidance) was published for public comment in the Federal Register on November 28, 2005.

“The COS offer will further the goals of our draft compliance program guidance by providing voluntary guidance to all recipients of Federal research funding as they address the prudent management and stewardship of research funds,” said Inspector General Levinson.

“This project is ideally suited to the Research Business Models Subcommittee, which promotes common policies and procedures among federal research agencies. The idea is not only to enhance their efficiency but also to reduce bureaucratic impacts on their constituents. This topic has become more important as compliance requirements have increased substantially in recent years. I look forward to working with the Inspector General during this process,” said Dr. John H. Marburger III, Director of the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP).

OIG’s Draft Guidance was developed to provide recipients of research awards from HHS agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with a framework for developing and implementing effective compliance programs that prevent and reduce fraud, waste, and abuse, as well as promote adherence to Federal rules and regulations. The Draft Guidance provides information on the benefits and suggested components of a comprehensive, well-managed compliance program.

Streamlining the process for managing Federal research grants through consistent government policies and procedures is a priority of the Committee on Science and OSTP. For example, in January 2005, OSTP and the Office of Management and Budget, working with the research community and government agencies through the Federal Demonstration Partnership, proposed the establishment of a core set of terms and conditions on research awards to allow for a more flexible and efficient use of Federal research funds by institutions and to standardize the management of research grants by Federal agencies.

OSTP was established by Congress in 1976 to advise the President and others within the Executive Office of the President on the impacts of science and technology on domestic and international affairs. OSTP was also authorized to lead an inter-agency effort to develop and implement sound science and technology policies and to work with the private sector, State and local governments, the science and higher education communities, and other nations towards this end. The Director of OSTP serves as co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and oversees the National Science and Technology Council on behalf of the President. For more information, visit

HHS OIG was created by the Health, Education, and Welfare Inspector General Act of 1976 to protect the integrity of the programs of HHS. In addition to promoting compliance efforts, OIG fulfills this mission by conducting audits, evaluations and investigations that identify fraud, waste, and abuse in the more than 300 programs of HHS, and imposing administrative sanctions against fraudulent entities and individuals. For more information, visit