NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL OFFICE OF INVESTIGATIONS CLOSEOUT MEMORANDUM 1) Case Number: A06 1 10053 11 Page 1 of 1 We received several allegations concerning an NSF program officer (PO) and a particular NSF-funded project under the PO's responsibility.' It was alleged that the PO was misusing appropriated funds by directing the awardee to spend funds in a manner inconsistent with the appropriations account that funded the project. We concluded that appropriations accounts are not as clearlydelineated as set out in these allegations, and the expenditures identified were within the scope of the project. It was alleged that NSF made misrepresentations about the project to Congress, but there was no evidence of misrepresentations and we found no reason to suspect them. I It was alleged that the PO micromanaged the project and did not leave enough decisionmaking to the awardee. It was also alleged that some of the PO'Sdecisions were poor ones. We concluded that, while the PO's oversight of the project was certainly not optimal, it was not unreasonable. It was alleged that the PO was abrasive and abusive when interacting with the awardee. We concluded that, while the PO's conduct was abrasive, it was not sufficiently extreme to warrant intervention by our office. It was also alleged that the PO made threats to retaliate against a scientist in future proposals, because the scientist wrote a letter seeking to have one of the PO's decisions changed. While several people associated with the project stated that they heard the PO make this threat, the PO denied it emphatically and we found no evidence that she had taken any retaliatory action. The PO agreed to be recused from any future proposals involving the scientist. Accordingly, this case is closed, NSF OIG Forn12 (11/02)
NSF Employee Misconduct
Published by the National Science Foundation, Office of Inspector General on 2007-01-25.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)