Rep Brooks asks for GAO review of regulations that hinder research at Universities

Cathy Breen

The AAU reports that the chairman of the House Research and Science Education Subcommittee, Representative Mo Brooks (R-AL), asked the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) earlier this month to review “regulatory actions that hinder our nation’s research universities.”

The Chairman’s recommendation was based on the 2012 National Research Council report on research universities, as well as hearings and additional conversations he held with the university research community, that “the current regulatory environment may be limiting the growth of fundamental basic scientific research.” Rep. Brooks said in his letter that “While it is necessary and imperative that research universities maintain transparent and accountable systems to track the use of federal dollars,” he said in the letter, “I am concerned with the amount of time and resources being spent on duplicative and burdensome paperwork and red tape in the conduct of federally funded scientific research.” AAU says that the chairman asked GAO to look at three general questions: 1) What federal requirements, not limited to legislative mandates, reporting requirements and regulations create reporting burdens for research universities; 2) How research university requirements under OMB Circulars A-21, A-133 and Federal Acquisition Regulation 4.703 balance regulatory burden with accountability for federal funds; and 3) What might be the potential benefits and disadvantages of modifying requirements, including those “that experts and universities have identified as most burdensome.” Stay tuned for a response…

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