The National Science and Technology Council should coordinate
the development of uniform federal requirements for identifying
and resolving financial conflicts of interest in federally
funded research, the General Accounting Office has said.
It said six federal agencies lack a policy preventing bias
in research they fund at universities, which receive millions
of dollars each year from royalties for technologies they
have developed, and that increasing collaboration between
universities and businesses threatens to create a
contractor-client relationship where objectivity is paramount.
So far, the National Institutes of Health and the National
Science Foundation are the only federal agencies found to
require universities to implement policies covering research
grants that amounted to $19 billion dollars in fiscal year
2001 for all federal agencies, said GAO.