H.R. 5056, The Research and Development Efficiency Act

H.R. 5056

The Research and Development Efficiency Act

Date
July 14, 2014 (113th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Monday, July 14, 2014, the House will consider H.R. 5056, the Research and Development Efficiency Act, under a suspension of the rules.  H.R. 5056 was introduced on July 10, 2014 by Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN) and referred to the Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

Bill Summary

H.R. 5056 expresses the sense of Congress that: 1) high and increasing costs in Federal research administration are eroding the funds available to carry out basic scientific research; 2) progress has been made in streamlining the pre-award grant application process through Grants.gov; 3) post-award administrative costs have grown; 4) facilities and administration costs at universities can exceed 50 percent of the value of Federal research grants; and 5) administrative costs must be streamlined so that a higher proportion of federally-funded research dollars flow into research activities.

This legislation directs the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to establish a working group responsible for reviewing Federal regulations affecting research and research universities, and making recommendations on how to: 1) harmonize, streamline, and eliminate duplicative Federal regulations and reporting requirements; and 2) minimize the regulatory burden on institutions of higher education performing federally-funded research while maintaining accountability for U.S. tax dollars.  Within one year of the date of enactment of this legislation (and annually for three years thereafter), the Director of OSTP is required to report to Congress on what steps have been taken to carry out the recommendations of the working group established under this Act.

Background

In 2012, the National Research Council (NRC) produced a report highlighting ten recommendations for the future of U.S. research universities.  One of the recommendations was to “reduce or eliminate regulations that increase administrative costs, impede research productivity, and deflect creative energy without substantially improving the research environment.”[1]  A 2012 Federal Demonstration Partnership Faculty Workload Survey found that, on average, principal investigators of federally sponsored research grants spend 42 percent of their time on administrative tasks.[2]

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[1] Information provided by the Science, Space, and Technology Committee; Report can be found here: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13396.
[2] http://sites.nationalacademies.org/PGA/cs/groups/pgasite/documents/webpage/pga_081189.pdf

Cost

Preliminary estimates from the CBO indicate that this legislation would have no significant effect on the budget, direct spending, or revenues.

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.