A report from the National Institutes of Health has detailed a suite of management and ethics problems at the agency's National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The linkurl:report,;http://finance.senate.gov/press/Gpress/2008/prg041508a.pdf which was sent to Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) yesterday (Apr 15), unearthed apparent grant funding irregularities at NIEHS. The agency awarded grants to 45 applications that had scored beyond the payline between FY 2005 and FY 2007, without documenting the justifications for making these exceptions, according to the report. Funding federal grant applications that are ranked above the payline is rare but is not, in itself, a violation of the rules. But properly documented justification is required in these cases. The report also stated that the ethics program at NIEHS lacked sufficient personnel, documentation of ethics actions, and attention to conflicts of interest within the agency. According to the report, most of the financial disclosure reports filed by NIEHS employees between 2004...

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