The feud can be traced to a four-year investigation by the inspector general's office into procurement practices at NIH that led to the forced removal last spring of sciencetist Edwin Becker--(see The Scientist May 10, page 20). the HHS report accused NIH of wasting millions of dollars. Wyngaarden and the NIH community believe that the report exaggerated the extent of procurement problems at NIH and that Kusserwo simply does not understand the importance of providing scientists with easy and quick access to needed equipment—their reason for circumventing normal procedures.

Now Wyngaarden and his colleagues at NIH have another major bone to pick with HHS. Last month, Kusserow’s office issued a report (see story on page 1) that criticized NIH's handling of alleged misconduct cases. Wyn-gaarden views this as another unwarranted and uninformed swipe at the institutes’ practices.

"I’m getting a little tired of his attacks on the NIH," snapped Wyngaarden...

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