Recommendations Database

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As of January 31, 2023, there are 4842 open recommendations that still need to be addressed. 473 of these are priority recommendations, those that we believe warrant priority attention. Learn more about our priority designation on our Recommendations page.

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1 - 5 of 5 Recommendations, including 0 Priority Recommendations

Research Reliability: Federal Actions Needed to Promote Stronger Research Practices

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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
National Institutes of Health The Director of NIH should collect information on relevant indicators of rigor to assess the research projects the agency funds, and implement steps, as needed, to promote strong research practices in future work. (Recommendation 1)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

National Institutes of Health The Director of NIH should take steps to collect information to determine whether current policies and requirements are adequate to achieve transparency by ensuring research results and data are findable, accessible, and usable, and implement programmatic or policy changes, if needed. (Recommendation 2)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Scientific Integrity: HHS Agencies Need to Develop Procedures and Train Staff on Reporting and Addressing Political Interference

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
National Institutes of Health The NIH Director should ensure that procedures for reporting and addressing potential political interference in scientific decision-making are developed and documented, including adding a definition of political interference, and that its scientific integrity trainings on these procedures are updated. (Recommendation 5)
Open

As of October 2022, HHS was updating its departmental scientific integrity policy and its operating divisions, including NIH, were also updating their individual scientific integrity policies. The updated policies will include specific provisions prohibiting political interference and will establish procedures for reporting and handling allegations of scientific integrity violations, including those involving alleged political interference.

Biomedical Research: NIH Should Publicly Report More Information about the Licensing of Its Intellectual Property

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
National Institutes of Health The Director of NIH should determine—in collaboration with outside stakeholders as appropriate—what licensing information is most useful to enable the public's and policymakers' understanding of licensing outcomes and impacts and, to the extent permitted by law, publicly report such information in an accessible and searchable format to the maximum extent possible. (Recommendation 2)
Open

HHS concurred with GAO's recommendation, and took several steps following the report's issuance. NIH published information about NIH-owned patents and active commercial licenses on its technology transfer website. Agency officials stated that NIH will deploy a new enterprise technology transfer system that will enable the agency to publish additional information and provide an improved user interface that allows searches of a new technology transfer database, which will include information on the effective dates of licenses. The NIH officials further stated that this system is in the final

Federal Research: Additional Actions Needed to Improve Public Access to Research Results

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
National Institutes of Health As the Subcommittee on Open Science moves forward, the National Institutes of Health co-chair, in coordination with other co-chairs and participating agencies, should take steps to fully implement leading practices that enhance and sustain collaboration. (Recommendation 35)
Open – Partially Addressed

NIH concurred with GAO's November 2019 recommendation and has taken steps to implement it. According to information NIH provided in December 2021, the subcommittee is continuing to implement interagency efforts and to develop evidence demonstrating how the processes of the subcommittee implement the leading practices that GAO has identified can enhance and sustain interagency collaboration. In September 2022, NIH provided an update in which it stated that the subcommittee has established a robust and collaborative partnership with its interagency partners and external stakeholders. NIH

Have a Question about a Recommendation?

For questions about a specific recommendation, contact the person or office listed with the recommendation. For general information about recommendations, contact GAO's Audit Policy and Quality Assurance office at (202) 512-6100 or apqa@gao.gov.