Followup Review of the National Science Foundation's Conflict of Interest Resolution System for Short-Term Employees

Gao ID: RCED-84-35 January 4, 1984

In response to a congressional request, GAO summarized a briefing which it presented after completing a followup review of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) system for identifying and resolving potential conflicts of interest for short-term employees who fill noncareer positions for 1 to 2 years.

GAO found that NSF officials have implemented new conflict-of-interest rules and procedures. In addition, the Director of the NSF Office of Audit and Oversight (OAO) has implemented an effective oversight system. OAO has been monitoring all proposals, awards, and related activity involving: (1) NSF staff members; (2) persons under consideration for NSF staff positions; and (3) former staff members who have been away from NSF for less than a year. OAO identified 12 cases of potential conflict of interest and resolved them, either through its actions or in cooperation with the General Counsel. GAO believes that the new NSF conflict-of-interest rules and procedures are adequate for making decisions on short-term employees' grant activities which are vulnerable to impropriety and that the new rules and procedures are responsive to the recommendations of a 1981 GAO report.

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