Federal Labs Report Abstract

The Presidential Review Directive (PRD/NSTC-1) established an Interagency Federal Laboratory Review focusing upon the government's three largest laboratory systems—those operated by the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).  Based on the results of this 1995  review the President issued a Presidential Decision Directive (PDD/NSTC-5), Guidelines for Federal Laboratory Reform, that instructed the affected agencies to streamline management and oversight of their laboratories, focus laboratory missions, and coordinate laboratory resources and facilities.  A 1997 review of the status of the reforms included a recommendation that the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) broaden the reform effort to include all agencies operating Federal laboratories and/or conducting substantial intramural research programs. This recommendation led to the creation of the NSTC multiagency working group that produced this report.

The six proposals presented here, which resulted from the perspectives of this broad group of agency representatives, are both important and achievable.  When implemented, they will help the Federal laboratories reduce costs, increase productivity, maintain or enhance research quality, achieve agency missions, and contribute to the national goal of maintaining leadership across the frontiers of knowledge.  The six proposed actions are to:

· Make personnel policies more flexible and conducive to a high-caliber S&T workforce;
· Create incentives to reward agencies and laboratories for divesting unneeded infrastructure;
· Increase productivity by adopting responsible, risk-based, outcome-oriented business practices and environmental, health and safety regulations and procedures;
· Address issues related to stewardship of user facilities when several agencies are involved;
· Increase awareness of laboratory core competencies, facilities, and capabilities and how to obtain access; and
· Improve the management and conduct of certain types of long-term R&D projects and tasks by providing multiyear funding;

For additional copies and further information, contact:

NSTC Executive Secretary's Office at (202) 456-6100 (voice) or (202) 456-6026 (fax)

Also available on the NSTC Home Page via link from the OSTP Home Page at:

Improving Federal Laboratories to Meet the Challenges of the 21st Century

Nstc Report: Improving Federal Laboratories

Federal Labs Report Abstract

NSTC Report on Federal Labs

NSTC Interagency on Federal Laboratory Reform

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