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NSF & Congress

House Science Committee moves bill to change NSF's construction and management of major research facilities

April 29, 2016

U.S. Capitol
On April 27, the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology marked up and approved by voice vote legislation to implement changes to NSF’s management of major research facility projects. H.R. 5049, the NSF Major Research Facility Reform Act of 2016, was introduced by the Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Georgia), Chairman of the Committee's Oversight Subcommittee Chairman. According to a statement by Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the bill implements reforms "identified by the NSF Inspector General, auditors, an outside review panel and the Committee’s own work for a year and half." The outside review panel refers to a study by the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) that was commissioned by NSF in December 2015. The Committee held a hearing on the study's recommendations in February 2015, with NSF Chief Operating Officer Richard Buckius among the witnesses. His testimony is available here. During the mark up of H.R. 5049, the committee approved an amendment by the bill's sponsor that included changes based on suggestions provided by NSF as well as another authored by Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas).

Congress will be on recess next week.

In other news, NSF announced that MIT chemistry professor Mircea Dincă is the recipient of the 2016 Alan T. Waterman Award. The National Science Board (NSB) announced that Robert J. Birgeneau, chancellor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, is the recipient of the 2016 Vannevar Bush Award, and Sea Education Association/SEA Semester is its Public Service Award recipient. The awards will be presented during the NSF/NSB annual awards ceremony next week.


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