Skip to Highlights
Highlights

Pursuant to congressional requests, GAO investigated the Office of Substance Abuse Prevention's (OSAP) alleged lobbying activities, focusing on: (1) whether OSAP or its grantees used appropriated funds to lobby Congress; and (2) alleged OSAP involvement in attempts to terminate the GAO investigation.

Skip to Recommendations

Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Health and Human Services 1. OSAP should recover improperly used grant funds from the grantee that organized the Alcohol Policy VIII conference.
Closed - Not Implemented
GAO and the agency are currently engaged in discussing whether it is practicable and cost-effective to carry out this recommendation. The agency wrote to GAO informing it that it was not practicable to attempt to quantify or collect what appeared to be a negligible portion of the grant. GAO agreed; therefore, no collection action was taken.
Department of Health and Human Services 2. OSAP should ensure that grantees agree not to use grant funds for grass roots lobbying.
Closed - Implemented
All future conference grant agreements will include language addressing grass roots lobbying.
Department of Health and Human Services 3. OSAP should take steps to avoid being associated with grass roots lobbying by grantees.
Closed - Implemented
HHS Office of the General Counsel has briefed senior CSAP officials to increase sensitivity to situations in order to avoid being associated with grass roots lobbying. Also, CSAP officials are aware of avoiding the perception of grass roots lobbying.
Department of Health and Human Services 4. OSAP should avoid the explicit mention in its publications of grass roots lobbying.
Closed - Implemented
CSAP has increased review of articles and will not publish articles that mention grass roots lobbying.
Department of Health and Human Services 5. HHS should advise participants in government-sponsored conferences that such a conference is not an appropriate forum for grass-roots lobbying.
Closed - Implemented
Contracts and grants pertaining to conferences will include language advising participants that government-sponsored conferences are not appropriate forums for grass-roots lobbying. SAMHSA is now including specific language for all conference grants warning that none of the funds may be used to support lobbying activities of any kind.

Downloads