The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) endorsed legislation introduced on June 24 by Representative Daniel Lipinski (D-IL) entitled the University Regulation Streamlining and Harmonization Act of 2016. In a letter to Congressman Lipinski, FASEB praised the bill for the steps it takes to streamline and harmonize the increasingly complex and burdensome set of regulations that hamper the conduct of research.
While acknowledging that appropriate regulations are necessary to ensure that research is conducted in a responsible and ethical manner, FASEB supports the many consequential provisions in the bill would that would reduce regulatory burden on practicing scientists. In particular, the proposed legislation would establish a Research Policy Board tasked with reviewing new and existing regulations with an eye toward streamlining regulatory requirements. In addition, it would exempt grant-receiving institutions from monitoring certain kinds of regulatory compliance at other institutions that are subrecepients of shared grants. The bill also proposes raising the micropurchase threshold for charges to federal grants to $10,000.
The legislative fate of the proposed bill is uncertain. However, given that other recent proposals from Congress also seek to reduce regulatory burden on researchers, the time may be right to make strides in this area of science policy.