Annual Report Requirement for Detailed Descriptions of Intramural Research Projects

HRD-82-75: Published: Apr 28, 1982. Publicly Released: Apr 28, 1982.

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Robert A. Peterson
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As part of an ongoing review, GAO examined the requirement for the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and nine other institutes at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to prepare detailed descriptions of its intramural research projects for its annual report.

The GAO examination disclosed that the preparation of these project descriptions is costly and that some of the information they contain is available from other sources. GAO believes that the requirement for the detailed project description could be eliminated for NCI. Such action could result in substantial cost savings without adversely affecting the scientific managers at NCI. GAO concluded that other savings could result if the requirement were eliminated for the other NIH institutes as well.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: NIH disagreed with the GAO recommendation, resolving that the preparation costs for the project descriptions were not excessive relative to the scientific benefit derived from their preparation and that the NIH annual requirements will continue.

    Recommendation: The Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) should eliminate the requirement of preparation of detailed project descriptions for National Cancer Institute intramural research projects. Also, the requirement for detailed project descriptions for other NIH institutes should be reevaluated.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services: Public Health Service: National Institutes of Health


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