Summary of FY2002 Budget Request to Congress - National Science Foundation

OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL $6,760,000

The Appropriations Act that funds the National Science Foundation provides for a separate appropriation heading for NSF's Office of Inspector General (OIG). Accordingly, the FY 2002 request identifies the resources needed to support OIG, including amounts for personnel compensation and benefits, contract services, training, travel, supplies, materials, and equipment.

The FY 2002 request for OIG is $6.76 million, which represents an increase of $490,000 over the FY 2001 appropriation of $6.27 million.

(Millions of Dollars)

   FY 2000
Actual
FY 2001
Current Plan
FY 2002
Request
Change
Amount Percent
Personnel Compensation & Benefits 3.87 4.61 5.10 0.49 10.6%
Other Operating Expenses 1.73 1.66 1.66 0.00 0.0%
TOTAL1 $5.60 $6.27 $6.76 $0.49 7.8%
Full-Time Equivalent Employment 46 50 50    

Totals may not add due to rounding.
1 FY 2001 Current Plan total excludes $114,000 in FY 2000 carryover funds.

Under the proposed increase, which will be applied to the higher costs associated with personnel compensation and benefits, OIG will continue to shift its base resources to improve its oversight of NSF programs and awardees. More specifically, OIG will make changes to (1) upgrade its information technology capability, especially in the computer security and data analysis areas, (2) expand performance auditing and internal reviews of NSF programs, (3) enhance OIG outreach and compliance initiatives, and (4) provide essential training to keep auditors, investigators, attorneys, computer specialists, and other staff current in their respective skills. In addition to meeting the requirements of the Inspector General Act, this request is consistent with the OIG Strategic Plan, which is designed to improve the quality of OIG work and ensure a positive effect on the Foundation's activities and programs.

In February 1989, the National Science Board established OIG pursuant to the Inspector General Act Amendments of 1988. The statute confers on OIG the responsibility and the authority to:

  • Conduct and supervise audits of NSF programs and operations, including organizations that receive NSF funding.

  • Conduct investigations concerning NSF programs and operations, including organizations that receive NSF funding.

  • Evaluate allegations of misconduct in science and engineering, such as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism, involving scientists who request or receive NSF funding.

  • Provide leadership, coordination, and policy recommendations for:

    • Promoting economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in the administration of NSF programs and operations, and

    • Preventing and detecting fraud and abuse in NSF programs and operations.

  • Issue semiannual reports to the National Science Board and Congress to keep them informed about problems, recommended corrective actions, and progress being made in improving the management and conduct of NSF programs.

The two primary functions of OIG are audits and investigations. Reflecting the diverse skills, training, and experience necessary to oversee NSF's varied programs, OIG staff includes scientists, attorneys, certified public accountants, evaluators, and information technology specialists. The focus of an investigation, audit, or other review may range from a single entity or individual to a more sweeping assessment of a program or functional area.

OIG audits grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements funded by the Foundation's programs, as well as the Foundation's annual financial statements. Internal and external reviews of agency operations are performed to ensure that financial, administrative, and programmatic activities are conducted economically and efficiently. OIG also carries out inspections, which are multi-disciplinary reviews of financial, management, and program operations that identify broader problems and highlight best practices.

OIG investigates possible wrongdoing by organizations and individuals who submit proposals to, receive awards from, conduct business with, or work for the Foundation. Allegations of misconduct in science and engineering, such as falsification, fabrication, and plagiarism, are also investigated. OIG assesses the validity and seriousness of such allegations and recommends proportionate action. When appropriate, the results of these investigations are referred to the Department of Justice or other authorities for criminal prosecution or civil litigation. Less serious cases may be referred to the Foundation for administrative resolution. OIG also conducts outreach activities aimed at raising the awareness of funded researchers, institutional administrators, and agency employees about the OIG's role and NSF's rules and expectations.

The Government Management Reform Act of 1994 requires NSF to produce audited financial statements that will cover all Foundation accounts and activities. OIG has contracted with a public accounting firm to perform the audit of financial statements. The cost of this contract will be allocated proportionately to the accounts audited. OIG will oversee the audit and use OIG resources to conduct systemic audits of financial, budgetary, and data processing systems used by NSF to develop the financial statements.

In response to recommendations from the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, the National Science Board approved measured growth, over a period of years, in the number of audits conducted at organizations that receive NSF funding. For FY 2002, the requested increase is needed to fund higher costs in personnel compensation and benefits. The balance of the OIG appropriation will permit modest growth in OIG technological capability, performance auditing, and outreach and compliance activities.

Personnel Compensation and Benefits and General Operating Expenses

(Thousands of Dollars)

  FY 2000
Actual
FY 2001
Current Plan
FY 2002
Request
Personnel Compensation & Benefits 3,870 4,608 5,100
Travel & Transportation of Persons 123 145 148
Advisory & Assistance Services 1,475 1,367 1,370
Other Services 24 26 25
Supplies, Materials & Equipment 108 124 117
Total $5,600 $6,270 $6,760

Totals may not add due to rounding.

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Last Updated:
09/17/04
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Last Modified: Sep 17, '04