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Open Recommendations

Federal Research Grants: OMB Should Take Steps to Establish the Research Policy Board

GAO-21-232R
Feb 03, 2021
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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Office of Management and Budget The Director of OMB should establish the Research Policy Board as mandated by the 21st Century Cures Act and report to Congress on the Board's activities. (Recommendation 1)
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When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Congress Congress should consider extending the period of authorization for the Research Policy Board, giving OMB additional time to establish the Research Policy Board and complete its statutory mission under the 21st Century Cures Act. (Matter for Consideration 1)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Department of Energy: Improved Performance Planning Could Strengthen Technology Transfer

GAO-21-202
Feb 01, 2021
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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Energy The Director of OTT should assess whether researchers at the national labs, sites, and plants have the skills necessary to effectively identify and collaborate with technology transfer partners, and should provide training to address any skill gaps. (Recommendation 1)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of Energy The Director of OTT should develop objective, quantifiable, and measurable performance goals as appropriate, and a limited number of related performance measures or milestones, to assess progress toward the objectives in its technology transfer execution plan and signal priorities. (Recommendation 2)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Federal Research: Agencies Need to Enhance Policies to Address Foreign Influence

GAO-21-130
Dec 17, 2020
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9 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Office of Science and Technology Policy The Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy should work with the Executive Office of the President to issue the guidance that is pending review and expedite the issuance of any additional forthcoming guidance on addressing foreign threats to federally funded research. (Recommendation 1)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of Defense The Secretary of Defense should develop an agency-wide policy on conflict of interest for grants, to address both financial and non-financial conflicts. (Recommendation 2)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of Defense The Secretary of Defense should document procedures, including roles and responsibilities for addressing and enforcing failures to disclose required information, both foreign and domestic.(Recommendation 3)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of Energy The Secretary of Energy should develop an agency-wide policy on conflict of interest for grants, to address both financial and non-financial conflicts. (Recommendation 4)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of Energy The Secretary of Energy should document procedures, including roles and responsibilities for addressing and enforcing failures to disclose required information, both foreign and domestic. (Recommendation 5)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of Health and Human Services The Secretary of Health and Human Services should instruct the Director of the National Institutes of Health to update the agency's conflict of interest policy to include a definition on non-financial conflicts, such as the one developed by OSTP, and address these conflicts, both foreign and domestic. (Recommendation 6)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

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

GAO-21-52
Nov 20, 2020
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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
National Institutes of Health The Director of NIH should revise NIH's standard commercial license agreements to incorporate a provision consistent with 35 U.S.C. § 209(d)(3)(D) to put licensees on notice that the agency can terminate the license in whole or in part if the licensee has been found by a court of competent jurisdiction to have violated the federal antitrust laws in connection with its performance under the license agreement. (Recommendation 1)
Open
HHS concurred with GAO's recommendation and stated that NIH would develop a clause based on the law. The agency stated it would begin including it in exclusive and partially exclusive licenses in October 2020. In addition, NIH stated they would seek formal approval of this clause in its standard license agreements from the Public Health Service Technology Transfer Policy Board. We will provide a further update when the agency provides additional information on the status of implementing this recommendation.
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 NIH plans to add information about patents related to Food and Drug Administration approved drugs to its website. In addition, the agency would begin developing a plan in the first quarter of fiscal year of 2021 outlining a process for providing more information on patents and licenses. We will provide a further update when the agency provides additional information on the status of implementing this recommendation.
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