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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

GRANT Act Calls for Greater Transparency

From the NACUBO:

H.R. 3433, the “Grant Reform and New Transparency Act of 2011,” or GRANT Act, was introduced by Rep. James Lankford (R-OK) on November 16, and was passed by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform the next day. The legislation would require publication of full federal grant proposal, including research proposals, on a public website, and public disclosure of the names of peer reviewers. Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) is an original cosponsor.

Sponsors of the GRANT Act introduced the legislation to increase transparency and accountability in federal grants. However, a number of concerns have been raised by research associations and members of Congress on the potential negative impacts of the legislation. The GRANT Act would apply a one-size-fits-all system of accountability on all federal grants, and does not take research grants into special consideration.

Last week, Representatives Rush Holt (D-NJ) and David Price (D-NC) circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter to their House colleagues asking them to co-sign a letter urging changes to the measure. In the letter, Holt and Price point out that making grant proposals publicly available “would undermine the applicant and their institution’s right to their intellectual property,” and the provision requiring public disclosure of the names of peer reviewers would “hinder the ability of scientists to evaluate the credibility of research findings. more

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