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Check-up for NSF

Legislators want to ensure National Science Foundation can handle bigger budget.

Ted Agres(tedagres@lycos.com)

While supporting efforts to double the National Science Foundation (NSF) budget, House of Representatives appropriators are also concerned that NSF has become overly bureaucratic, hindering its ability to fund and manage high-quality research. "Some observers," the legislators wrote in their appropriations report, have characterized NSF as being "as both Byzantine and balkanized." The agency's organization and management structure, they added, may be "making it difficult for researchers to follow broader interdisciplinary projects or innovative research areas."

Because of these concerns, House legislators have requested an independent assessment of NSF's organization, program, and personnel structures. The $1-million study is to be conducted by the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA), a nonpartisan organization chartered by Congress to assist federal, state, and local governments improve their effectiveness, efficiency, and accountability. The House appropriations bill (HR 5605) states the study is to be commissioned by the end of the calendar year.

House members...

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