Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Speaker Joe Straus today sent a letter to the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) Oversight Committee, calling on the agency to fully address concerns that have been raised about its organization before any future grants are awarded.
"Saving Texans' lives in the fight against cancer is one of the most meaningful and impactful projects we have undertaken. To continue this important work with the credibility it deserves, it is vital that CPRIT fully address the concerns that have been raised about its processes and operations prior to future grants being awarded," the state leaders said in the letter. "The mission of defeating cancer is too important to be derailed by inadequate processes and a lack of oversight. It is important that we restore the confidence of the Texas taxpayers who approved this important initiative before new funds are dispersed."
The letter specifically calls on the agency to cooperate fully with current reviews, implement recommended changes, enact CPRIT governance reforms, and fill key management and peer review positions to ensure that all future CPRIT grant requests are properly reviewed and acted upon. It also clarifies the expectation that reforms should not impair current contracts, and directs CPRIT officials to notify all three state leaders' offices if any implementation concerns arise.