U.S Research Disregarding Regulatory Paper Work
Cooling down with the regulatory burden on the U.S academic research certainly isn't that easy. Creating an advisory body focused on eliminating government red tape-a tiny provision in a 996-page bill to accelerate medical research that could become law next month-is no less important to maintaining the health of the research community than is the infusion of billions of dollars.
Tobin Smith, vice president for policy at the Association of American Universities said that it is very good news that it's in the bill. He also said that they are pleased that the issue is finally getting the attention it deserves.
The academies' committee, chaired by University of Texas in Austin President Emeritus Larry Faulkner, had the ear of an influential legislator, Senator Lamar Alexander, who requested the study. As chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Alexander was also a key negotiator in hammering out agreements between the Senate and the House of Representatives on the Cures bill unveiled last Friday.
The new board would be housed within the White House Office of Management and Budget's (OMB's) regulatory shop, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). Its 20-some members would be divided between representatives of federal agencies that conduct research and those from the research community.
The General Accountability Office (GAO), the congressional watchdog, would evaluate the board's contribution. The board would go out of business in 2021 unless Congress decided to renew its charter. The operation would be run out of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), by a new senior administrator dedicated to preserving good ties between the government and the research community.
The bill assigns seats to OSTP; OIRA; the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which oversees the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and the National Science Foundation (NSF). The OMB director gets to make the final call on filling both the federal seats and the representatives from the external research community.
Faulkner declined to comment on the specific legislation before Congress. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said that completing Cures is a priority for the current Congress, which adjourns next month.