On the President's Announcement on the Global Positioning System

Office of Science and Technology Policy

For Immediate Release 
Contact: 202/456-6108
July 25, 2000

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy today released the report Analysis of Facilities and Administrative Costs at Universities, that provides an analysis of indirect costs requested by Congress in the National Science Foundation's Authorization Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-207).

About three-quarters of the Federal investment in research supports the direct costs of conducting research, i.e., those costs that can be directly attributed to a specific research project.  The remainder of the investment reimburses indirect costs.  These are general expenses that cannot be associated with a specific research project, but are used collectively by many research projects at the academic institution.  The two major components of indirect costs are for the construction, maintenance and operation of facilities used for research and for supporting administrative expenses such as financial management, institutional review boards and environment, health and safety management.

"The Federal government's investment in academic research, and the associated education of scientists and engineers, is critical to continued economic progress, national security, health care, environmental quality, and our standing as the world's leader in science and technology," said Neal Lane, the President's Science Advisor.  "Consequently, this administration has steadily increased research funding to universities to meet these national needs."

In addition to analyzing the potential impact of a number of suggested policy changes designed to reduce or control the growth of Facility and Administrative (F&A) costs to the Federal government, the report made the following findings:

· F&A costs have remained steady during the last decade;
· F&A rates at colleges and universities appear to be slightly lower than those at other types of research institutions, such as federal laboratories and industrial facilities; and
· Universities are paying for a portion of reimbursable F&A costs as a result of federal statutes, agency policy, state policies, and internal university policy and practices.

Copies of the report will be available shortly on OSTP's website at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/EOP/OSTP/html/OSTP_Home.html

Office of Science and Technology Policy
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W
Washington, DC 20502

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