Comments on H.R. 6522

B-197871: Published: Mar 18, 1980. Publicly Released: Mar 18, 1980.

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H.R. 6522 would amend the Public Health Service Act and revise and extend the authorities under the Act relating to national research institutes. GAO recommended changes to H.R. 6522 as follows. (1) Because of the importance of the Division of Research Resources (DRR) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from both a programmatic and a budgetary standpoint, DRR should be acknowledged as an operating entity of NIH, its functions formally stated, and its appropriation amounts designated. (2) Language in the legislation should be altered to provide for mandatory advisory council review of grants and contracts on the basis of total costs of $70,000 rather than direct costs of $50,000. (3) Separate provisions for the limitation and authorization of cancer control programs and cancer-related support programs are unnecessary since they are covered by existing provisions of the Act. (4) Certain outdated language referring to the transfer of appropriations should be changed as specified since DRR operates general support programs which benefit all NIH research institutes. (5) Provisions in H.R. 6522 for an evaluation of the National Research Service Awards program to be submitted by January 1, 1982, are questionable since the bill also provides for the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare to arrange for a continuing study of various matters pertinent to the program; furthermore, the reporting date of January 1, 1982, would be too early to assess the effects of certain changes required by the bill.

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