oversight

Misuse of Federal Funds Provided for the Midwest Regional Conference on Science, Technology, and State Government

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-05-03.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                                                                                                                        B-171679             *
                                                                                                                       --5-3-7 1




                                                      RESTRICTED
                                                                                                                      1111111118081
                                                                                                                                  LM089277

         Report       to      Senator       William          Proxmire        pursuant       to his      request.,

         The      report       contained         information            concerning          Mr.    William            Karp's                 >
                                                         -kc@)             OS@+
letter      which          alleged      that     the National             Science        Foundation           and the

Environmental               Control        Administration,              Department          of    Health,            Education,

and   Welfare,      had collaborated     with                      Governor       Richard         B. Ogilvie             of    the
       (pJG oo--lQ~
State   of Illinois       in the blisuse    of                     Federal       funds      provided           for      the

Midwest        Regional          Conference           on Science,            Technology,          and       State       Governments,
Dear      Senator         Proxmire:

              This       is in further        response            to your request                 of January         5, 1971,
 concerning               Mr. William          Karpgs         letter        of November              19, 1970, which
alleged           that the ,National           Science
                                              -_.------         Foundation               (NSFJ
                                                                                     _. ~__. .__”   and   the $nviron-
mental .---iControl
vIIImEI             -I___- --- Administration
                                    -. ,__._               ~ECA)
                                                    “_,,_,~,*“__     ,I,. ?,,.jI+pa,rtment_~of_
                                                             “.“1.“))..-.                               ~-~~-lt~~.-~ducatjon,
and
  ‘ICI”,“-.WelfaPg,
            ”“,1,“.          had collaborated             with Governor                   Richard        B. Qgilvie        of the
State of Illinois                in the misuse            of Federal               funds provided           for the Midm
west Regional                 Conference           on Science,              Technology,            and State Govern-
ment.           (The activity           of ECA which                cosponsored              the conference            was
transferred                under      Reorganization               Plan No. 3 of 19’70 to the Environ-
mental           Protection          Agency.)

         Additional       information         provided         to us by your office     regarding
the allegation       indicated,        more      specifically,         that Mr. Karp*s    principal
 concern     was not the misuse              of Federal          funds but the fact that NSF had
awarded       a grant to support           the Midwest             Conference   on the basis      of a
proposal       that included        statements         which he considered          to be plagiarized
from     a proposal       he had submitted             earlier       to NSF.

         The Midwest      Conference          was one in a series             of four regional
conferences     sponsored        jointly     by NSF and other            Federal        and local    agen-
cies m The three      other     regional       conferences        involved       the southern,        east-
ern, and western       sectors        of the country.         Tb.e purpose          of these    conferm
ences was to improve           the utilization         of regional       science       and technical
resources    in solving     problems          of State governments.

           The      Midwest      Conference        held November             17 to 19, 1970, in Arlington
Heights,       Illinois,      was financed        jointly     by NSF, EGA,           and the State        of
Illinois.       NSF       and  EGA     each    provided       $15,000.        Under    an  agreement          be-
tween the two Federal                agencies,        ECA transferred             its share     of the fund-
ing to NSF which              awarded      grant      GT-8     in the amount         of $30,000       for sup-
port of the conference.                 In addition,       the State of Illinois          appropriated
$10,000      for this purpose.             Representatives,            including      Governors,         State
 science      advisors,        and State legislators,             from     I$ midwestern         States
participated            in the Midwest        Conference.
B-171679




          The NSF grant        for the Midwest      Conference        was awarded           on June 10,
1970, to the Illinois       Board     of Higher   Educatio$       on the basis        of a proposal
submitted      to NSF on April        8, 1970.   The proposal         listed,     in addition    to the
Illinois    Board    of Higher     Education,   the Illinois       Commission          on Tech@
nological     Progress      and the Illinois    Science      Advisory         Council   as applim
 cants for the grant.

          Mr. William        Karp    submitted         a similar         proposal         to NSF by letter
dated April        22, 1970.      Mr. KarpPs         letter       stated    that he was submitting
his proposal         because     his comparison              of the Board           of Higher       Education
proposal       with one he had submitted                 informally         “more        than a year and
a half ago” (which           would be about October                  1968) to Dr. M. Frank                 Hersman,
Head,      NSF Office       of Mergovernmental                  Science       Programs,           entitled
g’Tentative       Proposal:       Midwest        Regional         Conference           on Science,         Tech-
nology      and State Government”               showed        that more         than 90 percent            of the
contents       of the tentative      proposal       was used in the proposal                      submitted
by the Board          of Higher     Education.          Mr. KarpPs           letter     stated     further       that
neither      he, as author       of the tentative           proposal,        nor the members                of the
Illinois     Commission         on Technological              Progress,          for whom the proposal
was prepared,           had authorized         the use of the tentative                 proposal.

         In view of the question         raised       by Mr. Karp       concerning        the right     of
the Board      of Higher      Education      to use the tentative         proposal,       Dr. Hersman
requested      comments        on the matter        from    Governor        Ogilvie    and Illinois
State Senator      John A. Graham,            Chairman        of the Hllinois       Commission         on
Technological       Progress,        by a jointly      addressed     letter       dated April      29,
1970.

         The     Governor*s         reply     dated     May     11,   1970,     to Dr.     Hersman         stated
that:

         ‘I***   The proposal           submitted      by *** bhc      Board     of Higher
         Educatiod         certainly       does include      some pages        of material
         taken    directly      from     the tentative     proposal     submitted       to
         the Commission              as a draft    a few years      ago by Mr, Marp.
B-171679




        Upon examination               you will discover         that those portions
       are the recitation              of the history      of that commission              which
       Mr. Karp          served      for four years        ***.     It seems      totally
       appropriate          to me that *** bhe BoardPd                   proposal,        which  is
       a joint     effort     building      upon the work         done over the past
       several       years      by the Illinois        Commission         on Technological
       Progress,           would in fact use their            reports    and drafts.         AC-
       tivities     undertaken          for a public      body such as the Commis-
       sion on Technological                Progress       of course      become         part of
       the public         domain       as a contribution        to the formulation            of
       public     policy      and retain       no *proprietary1         nature.”

         On May 22, 1970, Senator              Graham       advised    Dr. Hersman           that     the
proposal    submitted by the Illinois             Board      of Higher    Education         was:

       ‘I***  a public    document       of the State of Illinois        created     un-
       der the auspices       of the legislative         and executive       branches
       of our state government,            and neither       it nor any previous
       drafts   or materials       created     by our Commission,            its mem-
       bers,   or its staff,    retain     any ‘proprietary*        nature     or per==
       sonal privilege.”

        A copy of the tentative    proposal, which was informally      submitted
to NSF about October      1968, noted that it was submitted     on behalf   of the
commission     and not Mr. Marp who was the technical       consultant    to the
commission.      Also it stated  that:

       “The   genesis    of this proposal        is found in the history       of
       the State of Illinois       Commission       on Technological       Progm
       IQSS.    The work of the Commission               between     1965 and 1967
       led to a report      issued    April   1, 1967, that included      among
       its 22 recommendations:

                +.-that  a series  of science    and technology                 cons
                ferences    be convened     by a succeeding...                 Corn-
                mis sion ****
                                                        a.            .

                                  .   .     L




        19*** Subsequently,        a proposal       for a Conference     on Science,
        Technology       and State      Government       was drafted   at the re-
        quest    of the Chairman,         State Senator     John A. Graham,        and
        members       of the Commission            by the Commission’s       Tech-
        nical   Consultant,     William       Marp. ‘I

          Because     the commission   was a cosponsor         of the successful      pro-
posal     submitted     to NSF by the Board    of Higher     Education    on April      8,
1970, we do not see any objections          to the use of the tentative       proposal,
prepared        by Mr. Marp for the commission,         in preparing    the successful
proposal.

        We plan    to make     no further       distribution               of this      report.

                                                         Sincerely             yours,




                                                                                                  al
                                                             of the       United     States

The Honorable       William     Proxmire
United States     Senate