Research and Science Education Subcommittee Chairman Mo Brooks (R-AL) today sent a letter requesting a review by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) of regulatory actions that hinder our nation's research universities.
In response to a 2009 Congressional request, the National Research Council of the National Academies assembled a group of experts and, in June, issued the report, Research Universities and the Future of America: Ten Breakthrough Actions Vital to our Nation's Prosperity and Security. In it, they provide recommendations to "assure the ability of the American research university to maintain the excellence in research and doctoral education needed to help the United States compete, prosper, and achieve national goals." One of the ten recommendations states:
Reduce or eliminate regulations that increase administrative costs, impede research productivity, and deflect creative energy without substantially improving the research environment.
Subsequently, the Subcommittee held two hearings with the academic and business communities to evaluate these recommendations.
"It is evident from these hearings, the report, and additional conversations with the university research community that the current regulatory environment may be limiting the growth of fundamental basic scientific research," Chairman Brooks wrote in the letter. "While it is necessary and imperative that research universities maintain transparent and accountable systems to track the use of federal dollars, I am concerned with the amount of time and resources being spent on duplicative and burdensome paperwork and red tape in the conduct of federally funded scientific research."