you may be aware, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee recently
approved the Grant Reform and New Transparency (GRANT) Act, H.R. 3433.
The bill, which the full House has not considered, is intended to provide more
transparency in the federal grant-making process by requiring all federal
agencies to publicize the selection procedures for each grant program. It also mandates the White House Office
of Management and Budget (OMB) create a single, comprehensive website for all
federal grant opportunities, among other provisions.
Many in the research community have concerns with the bill’s
transparency requirements in the peer-review process, which include the posting
of full copies of funded proposals online (albeit with an exception for
information that is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)). Although many efforts have been made to
effect positive changes in the bill, the amount of disclosure required is still
potentially damaging to the peer-review process. As such, Representatives Rush Holt (D-NJ) and
David Price (D-NC) have drafted a "Dear Colleague" letter, which can be viewed here, to the House
leadership urging them to fix these remaining issues; Reps. Holt and Price also
are seeking additional signatories to the letter from among their
ASPB is closely
monitoring this bill and working to remove damaging provisions in the
legislation. If you have concerns with
the GRANT Act, you can share them with your Representative and/or encourage
them to sign on to the Holt-Price Dear Colleague letter. Contact information for your
Representative is available at http://house.gov/representatives/. You
can either call their Washington, D.C., office or send an e-mail via your
Representative’s website. If you do not
know who your Representative is, you can enter your zip code into the above
website to find out. The deadline for additional signatories to
the Dear Colleague letter has been extended to Friday, January 27.
If you’d like help reaching out to your Representative,
please contact ASPB’s Public Affairs Manager, Kathy Munkvold, at firstname.lastname@example.org.