National Toxicology Program:

Efforts To Improve Oversight of Contractors Testing Chemicals

HRD-85-66: Published: Jun 28, 1985. Publicly Released: Jul 23, 1985.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the National Toxicology Program (NTP) to: (1) assess the adequacy of oversight of NTP contract research activities; and (2) respond to concerns raised by a former NTP contractor.

GAO found that NTP has improved contract management activities by: (1) assuming oversight responsibilities that it formerly contracted for; (2) relocating and consolidating NTP personnel in one location; (3) beginning the development of a project management handbook; (4) implementing an automated data management system; and (5) contracting for reviews of pathology test results. GAO also found that: (1) NTP monitored contracts by conducting annual program reviews and site visits; (2) contractors were generally responsive to NTP quality concerns; (3) NTP was taking action to disqualify five laboratories because of concern over contract performance; and (4) 2 of the 30 live animal tests reviewed had been compromised. In addition, GAO found that: (1) NTP did not act prejudicially against the former contractor, but terminated that contract and five others for poor performance; (2) NTP did not assign terminated pathology work to the quality assurance contractor that recommended contract termination; and (3) NTP was taking actions to prevent quality assurance contractors from also doing pathology support work.

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