Comments on Senate Bill 290, 97th Congress

B-202261: Published: May 14, 1981. Publicly Released: May 14, 1981.

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GAO was requested to comment on Senate Bill 290, which would amend the Public Service Act to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish, through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a Reye's Syndrome Coordinating Committee. The bill would authorize the committee to award research grants and contracts and to establish and dispatch Reye's mobile research teams. Special coordinating committees have been previously been established by the Act to combat diabetes, arthritis, and digestive diseases. However, the bill would be precedent-setting by: (1) authorizing the award of research grants and contracts; (2) authorizing the proposed coordinating committee to award grants and contracts which could result in a significant deviation from the established NIH peer review system for competitively awarding research grants and contracts; and (3) authorizing separate appropriations for research grants and for the Reye's mobile research teams.

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