National Science Foundation Standards of Employee Conduct Need Improvement

Gao ID: FPCD-79-33 March 29, 1979

During a review of the standards of employee conduct of the National Science Foundation (NSF), GAO identified several issues not adequately addressed by the standards used by NSF. These include employees' negotiating for employment with contracting institutions during employment by NSF, and the acceptance of honoraria, gifts, gratuities, and reimbursement for travel expenses from private sources. The NSF Ethics Counselor could use available databases to monitor compliance with standards of conduct or to identify areas requiring guidance, but these data are not being tabulated in usable form at present or are not being utilized efficiently. The Ethics Counselor should examine the present financial disclosure system and review information on employees' academic affiliations as to possible conflict of interest problems. The NSF Director should have the Ethics Counselor identify relevant information sources and use them for the purposes described.

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