Reassignment of Two NIH Employees

OSI-95-14R: Published: Jul 5, 1995. Publicly Released: Jul 5, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the: (1) reassignments of two National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) employees, focusing on the actions of Health and Human Services (HHS) officials; and (2) University of Wisconsin-Madison's handling of scientific misconduct charges against two of its professors. GAO noted that: (1) there was no evidence that HHS improperly handled the reassignments or that HHS officials pressured NIDDK staff to reassign the two employees; (2) the reassignments resulted from the shift of responsibility for investigating allegations of scientific misconduct; (3) there was no evidence that the NIDDK employees' reassignments were in reprisal for public statements that they had made; (4) the charges of scientific misconduct against the two university professors arose during a pharmaceutical research company's law suit against the University; (5) there was no evidence that the University's investigation, conducted in accordance with state law, was not thorough and objective; and (6) the University reasonably concluded that no misconduct occurred.

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