H.R. 2770: Veterans Nonprofit Research and Education Corporations Enhancement Act

H.R. 2770

Veterans Nonprofit Research and Education Corporations Enhancement Act

Date
July 28, 2009 (111th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Sarah Makin

Floor Situation

H.R. 2770 is being considered under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds vote for passage. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA) on June 9, 2009.

Bill Summary

H.R. 2770 would authorize the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to establish Multi-Medical Center Research Corporations, a voluntary sharing of one Nonprofit Research Corporation (NPC) among two or more VA Medical Centers.

The bill would require at least two members of the board be non-federal employees and have business, legal, financial, medical, or scientific expertise that would benefit the NPC.

H.R. 2770 clarifies the ability of an NPC to accept, administer, retain, and spend funds received; enter into contracts and agreements; set fees and reimbursement; and who may serve as an NPC Executive Director.

The bill allows an NPC to charge registration fees for research and education services.

H.R. 2770 updates reimbursement authorities by (1) allowing the VA to reimburse an NPC for NPC staff assigned to VA; (2) allowing an NPC to reimburse a VA laboratory for preliminary costs of research before it is officially approved by the Secretary; and (3) allowing an NPC to reimburse VA Office of General Counsel for legal services.

The bill raises the threshold for the requirements to conduct independent audits.

The bill requires that NPC's establish a conflict of interest policy that is applicable to each director, officer, and employee of the NPC to maintain the integrity of the NPC.

Background

H.R. 2770 would amend current law pertaining to certain VA research and education facilities. Those facilities are private nonprofit entities that are prohibited from using appropriated funds and rely solely on cash or in-kind donations to conduct medical research and provide training. Nonetheless, such facilities would undertake activities on behalf of the federal government.

Cost

According to CBO, this bill would not have a significant net effect on direct spending. Enacting the bill would not affect spending subject to appropriation or revenues.