Advanced Technology:

Proposal Review Process and Treatment of Foreign-Owned Businesses

RCED-94-81: Published: Jan 18, 1994. Publicly Released: Feb 4, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) implementation of the Advanced Technology Program (ATP), focusing on: (1) how ATP limits its awards to research and development on precompetitive generic technology; and (2) NIST treatment of foreign-owned businesses that submit proposals for ATP awards.

GAO found that: (1) ATP relies on a consensus decision by its source evaluation board (SEB) to eliminate proposals that do not involve precompetitive generic technology; (2) SEB bases its determination of precompetitive generic content on technical expertise, expert reviewers' comments, and discussions among ATP staff; (3) SEB may eliminate proposals at any time for not including precompetitive generic research; (4) NIST is revising guidance on precompetitive generic technology to clarify the selection criteria used in the proposal review process and the type of research and development ATP supports; and (5) there is no evidence of unfair treatment of foreign-owned businesses that submit ATP proposals for review.

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