oversight

COI (Non-NSF) COI (NSF)

Published by the National Science Foundation, Office of Inspector General on 2014-08-28.

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

                                                            NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
                                                             OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL
                                                               OFFICE OF INVESTIGATIONS

                                                     CLOSEOUT MEMORANDUM

Case Number: A11050034                                                                                         Page 1 of 1



                We assessed an allegation of potential conflicts of interest in NSF's evaluation of
         proposals (technically, "expressions of interest") solicited for potential future uses of excess NSF
         equipment 1 used in previous research and scheduled for disposal. Experts2 from a large external
         organization3 were asked to perform an initial technical assessment ofthe submitted proposals.
         The potential conflict arose because the organization itself was listed as a partner in one of the
                    4
         proposals.

                 We interviewed the NSF Program Officer5 to gain a perspective of the process of
         solicitation and assessment. We concluded that the solicitation of the technical evaluation from
         the participating organization did not constitute an unmanageable conflict of interest, and that the
         effects were mitigated by the organizational separation between the personnel conducting the
         technical evaluation and the personnel involved in the organization's proposal. We note that
         additional information from each of the proposers was sought by NSF Program Officers, who
         combined that information with the technical evaluation, and who independently made the final
         determination. We found no evidence that any proposal was inappropriately excluded from
         consideration, or evaluated on anything other than the announced criteria, or that conflicts of
         interest tainted the outcome.

                    This case is closed with no further action taken.




         2
             The specific individuals performing the technical evaluation were scientists with direct previous experience in
                     of the     ยท      for NSF            research.




NSF OIG Form 2 (11102)