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New law proposed to extend ARRA reporting to all federal awards

Posted on June 27, 2011 at 7:58am

From the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP).


On June 13th of this year a bill was introduced in the US House of Representatives that would extend ARRA-type reporting to all federal research awards.  This bill, HR 2146 (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h112-2146), if passed into law would repeal FFATA, but add significant reporting burden to all federal awards. Attached is a joint statement from AAU, APLU and COGR about the bill. You can also find this document on the AAU web site, http://www.aau.edu/.


David Wright

Executive Director

Federal Demonstration Partnership


(202) 334-1495


Association of American Universities

Association of Public and Land-grant Universities

Council on Governmental Relations


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                            CONTACT: Barry Toiv

June 21, 2011                                                                       barry_toiv@aau.edu; 202-408-7500







Following is a joint statement by the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, and the Council on Governmental Relations on H.R. 2146, the Digital Accountability and Transparency (DATA) Act of 2011.  The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has scheduled a markup on the bill for tomorrow, June 22.  The bill’s sponsor is Rep. Darrell Issa, who chairs the Committee.



The nation’s research university community is deeply concerned about the potential impact of HR 2146, the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2011, on our nation’s innovation capacity.  This legislation would impose substantial new costs on universities’ research enterprises, significantly reducing productivity with little benefit to the nation.


Scientific research is, by its nature and by already-existing laws, regulations, and reporting requirements, a transparent and accountable process.  The Recovery Act imposed substantial added paperwork and other administrative burdens on scientists and administrators, with little evidence that they produced significant and useful information for the public or policymakers.  The time and resources expended could have been devoted to actual research and education.  Yet H.R. 2146 seeks to perpetuate these additional requirements.


In fact, preliminary data being collected by the Federal Demonstration Partnership suggests that the paperwork and other administrative costs of the Recovery Act reporting requirements for just under 100 research institutions alone were $87 million, or about $7,900 per research award.  If these costs are extended throughout the entire federal research enterprise, they could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars each year.


The public rightfully demands that its tax dollars be spent usefully and wisely.  Money is wasted, however, when researchers and administrators are forced to spend their time making needless calculations and filling out forms.


Both Congress and the Administration have been taking action to reduce the burden of unnecessary or unproductive regulation on the American economy.  This legislation goes in exactly the opposite direction, and it should be rejected. 


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