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OCR for page 37
Assessment of Technology Development in NASA's Office of Space Science A FY 1998 Congressional Appropriations Report Language SENATE 1st Session—105-53 REPORT [To accompany S. 1034] . . . . The Committee on Appropriations reports the bill (S. 1034) making appropriations for the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and for sundry independent agencies, boards, commissions, corporations, and offices for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1998, and for other purposes, reports favorably thereon and recommends that the bill do pass. NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION . . . . The Committee is concerned about the absence of competition in the selection of funding recipients for the new millennium, advanced space technology, and portions of the supporting research and technology program elements. The Committee believes that these funds, whether awarded intramurally or extramurally, must be fully competed through broad announcements of opportunity with selection by external peer review panels, rather than at the discretion of agency program managers. For this reason, the Committee directs NASA to develop and submit to the Committee a plan, concurrent with the 1998 operating plan, that lays out a specific strategy to implement this competitive framework, including the allocation of fiscal year 1998 funds, so that approximately one-half of these funds are made available to extramural academic institutions or private industry, with selection by external peer review panels.
OCR for page 38
Assessment of Technology Development in NASA's Office of Space Science HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 1st Session—105-297 CONFERENCE REPORT [To accompany H.R. 2158] MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENTS OF VETERANS AFFAIRS AND HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, AND FOR SUNDRY INDEPENDENT AGENCIES, COMMISSIONS, CORPORATIONS, AND OFFICES FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING SEPTEMBER 30, 1998, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION . . . . The conferees concur with the direction of the Senate to promote competition in the award of advanced technology development (ATD) funds. To achieve this end, commencing with fiscal year 1998 and continuing in each year thereafter, NASA should consolidate all space science ATD activities into an easily accessible consolidated budget line item and award not less than 75 percent of these funds through broadly distributed announcements of opportunity that solicit proposals from all categories of organizations, including educational institutions, industry, nonprofit institutions, NASA Centers, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and other Government agencies, and that allow partnerships among any combination of these entities, with evaluation, prioritization, and recommendations made by external peer review panels, consistent with the recommendations contained in the 1995 National Academy of Sciences report on managing the space sciences. In awarding ATD funds in this manner, the conferees wish to make clear that final selection of all proposals rests with NASA officials consistent with Office of Procurement Policy guidelines; and that setting technology requirements that are the foundation of the AO's rests with NASA program managers, consistent with guidance provided by advisory bodies of the at-large science community. In this fashion, NASA's technology investments will be managed in a manner parallel to that traditionally employed in implementing the agency's science program.
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