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year 1992. The only identifiable reason for the increase included in the Council's justification is a desire of the Council to increase distribution of its quarterly newsletter from 20,000 to 25,000 individuals -- a 25 percent increase in distribution. Why then, exactly, is the Council requesting an 80 percent increase for communications?
The National Council is requesting the increase in communication cost in order to be responsive to many requests via telephone and mail for information on the American with disabilities Act. In addition, the additional funding allows for the increase in postage costs.
The Council states in its justifications that it anticipates a 15 percent increase in the cost of rent, including inflation, for its office and storage space. And yet, the Council is requesting a 53.8
ercent increase for rental payments to GSA. Please account for this disparity.
The National Council budgeted an additional $10,000 for the current space it occupies, an increase to $75,000 and $25,000 for additional space requested by the National Council for storage.
The Council is requesting a 35.5 percent increase in travel funds for fiscal year 1992 (from $152,000 to $206,000), but offers in its justifications no unusual circumstances as would merit such an escalation.
Please provide additional detail on your request.
The National Council is requesting the increase in travel funds for fiscal year 1992 to cover the costs of members, staff, consumer advisors and individuals invited to serve as witnesses at the National Council's various forums. In additional to the mandated four quarterly meetings, the National Council plans to sponsors at least four forums that are scheduled separately from the meetings. Members and staff of the National Council serve on various Interagency task Forces and Committees which require travel costs.
The increase travel cost is to also allow for the members and staff to accept requests to speak at various conferences, meetings and symposiums held on the Americans with disabilities Act.
The Council expects to maintain current staffing levels, and yet has asked for an 11.4 percent increase for full-time salary expenses for fiscal year 1992. Inflation over the next year is estimated at about 4.1 percent. How does the Council justify its request for an 11.4 percent salary increase for full-time permanent employees?
The additional 7.3 percent increase is. to cover the costs of withingrade step increases for employees who are performing at the fully successful level or above.
The Council has requested $15,000 for "employee awards" year 1992.
To who and in what amounts have "employee awards" been granted during fiscal year 1990, and fiscal year 1991 staff to date?
In fiscal year 1990 the following staff received monetary awards.
$2,500.00 Staff Assistant
$850.00 Public Relations Specialist $850.00 clerk Typist
Plaques and certificates are also granted to staff as a means of recognition in addition to monetary awards. To date, no awards have been granted for fiscal year 1991. National Council usually make staff awards during the month of September. What was the basis, in each instances, for making the award? The Executive Director and the Executive Secretary were granted awards for outstanding work performance. In addition, these two individuals had performed extra work duties, outside of their job description, due to staff vacancies. The other three staff were granted awards for the performance of exceptional services, which was not a part of their job descriptions, to the National Council.
SUBCOMMITTEE RECESS Senator HARKIN. Thank you. The subcommittee will stand in recess until 10 a.m., Thursday, March 14, when we will meet in SD192 to hear from the National Institutes of Health.
[Whereupon, at 4:27 p.m., Tuesday, March 12, the subcommittee was recessed, to reconvene at 10 a.m., Thursday, March 14.)
DEPARTMENTS OF LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, AND EDUCATION AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 1992
THURSDAY, MARCH 14, 1991
Washington, DC. The subcommittee met at 10:10 a.m., in room SD-192, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Tom Harkin (chairman) presiding.
Present: Senators Harkin, Reid, Specter, Hatfield, Cochran, and Gorton.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH STATEMENT OF DR. WILLIAM F. RAUB, ACTING DIRECTOR ACCOMPANIED BY: DR. LEAMON LEE, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF FINANCIAL MANAGE
MENT DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR AIDS RESEARCH JOHN MAHONEY, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF ADMINISTRA
TION DR. JOHN DIGGS, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, EXTRAMURAL RESEARCH DENNIS WILLIAMS, DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR BUDGET
BUDGET REQUEST Senator HARKIN. The Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Related Agencies will come to order.
First of all, my apologies to you, Senator Hatfield, to you, Dr. Raub, and all the others that are here this morning for being a little late. My apologies.
Today, the committee will be considering the fiscal year 1992 budget request to the National Institutes of Health. The year's request is $8.78 billion, which is an increase of $498 million over last year's funding level, a 6-percent increase.
The projected biomedical inflation rate this year is approximately 5.8 percent. This means that the administration's request barely keeps pace with the increased costs associated with biomedical research.
In past years this committee has demonstrated its commitment to NIH programs by providing the funding above this inflation rate so that critical national health concerns could be addressed. I hope we will continue to support the basic research and scientific innovation that has made NIH the preeminent scientific institution it is today.
This budget request does reflect progress in a number of areas of concern to this committee. The 21,818 research project grants forecast for 1992 is the highest number of project grants in NIH history. I am also pleased at the estimated percentage of approved grants that will be funded is 26 percent. That is up from 24 percent in 1990.
In fact, Dr. Raub, I understand that you have, at the request of the committee, developed a comprehensive cost containment plan to limit the growth in grant costs to the biomedical research and development price index. We have been particularly concerned about the declining number of approved grants that are funded each year, and I believe your plan is designed to address this issue as well. I look forward to discussing that with you this morning.
I am concerned about one area in particular relating to the NIH Grant Program. I see that your request for indirect costs associated with the Institutes' 1992 grant awards is $1.9 billion. This amount represents roughly 40 percent of the total amount estimated for research project grants. As you know, indirect costs range from 6 percent to 155 percent for your grantees, and as I just heard on the radio driving in this morning, it ranges from everything from Chinese urns to flowers to yachts. Oh, antique commodes now. I didn't see that. Is that today's paper? I haven't read the paper. I just heard it on the radio. And I would like to hear your view on this issue during the session this morning and any of the other directors who are here with you.
So, again, Dr. Raub, let me welcome you and all the distinguished people who are here today, the center directors who are here. We are pleased to have you with us.
The biomedical research programs we will be hearing about today reflect a cutting edge science that holds the key to the future health of not only our citizens, but indeed the entire world. I hope we will be discussing also the breakthrough of gene therapy and the promise that this treatment holds for those with life-threatening immune disorders. There have been significant advances in vaccines for AIDS victims, Alzheimer's disease, neonatal disorders. So, again, there's a lot of things happening out there that's very exciting. And we look forward to hearing more about those programs today.
I would leave the record open for any statement by Senator Specter, and I would recognize my friend and colleague from Oregon, Senator Hatfield.
OPENING REMARKS OF SENATOR HATFIELD Senator HATFIELD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Dr. Raub, what was the date of the resignation of Dr. Wyngaarden as Director of NIH?
Dr. RAUB. July 31, 1989, sir.
Senator HATFIELD. And you are still, Dr. Raub, the Acting Director.
Dr. RAUB. That's correct, Senator.
Would you fill in the gap for me of what has occurred, or not occurred, between then and now?
Dr. RAUB. Soon after the time that Dr. Wyngaarden indicated his plans to leave his position and that was in the spring of 1989 the Department of Health and Human Services formed a search committee headed by the Assistant Secretary for Health that began immediately to identify potential, high-quality individuals for the position. Typically, the search committee not only received information on those who volunteered their interest, but also actively sought out individuals they hoped would be interested in the position. I was not a member of the committee. Another senior member of the NIH staff was. I have no direct information as to its deliberations.
I do know that over a period of months up to and following Dr. Wyngaarden's departure, the search committee attempted to identify highly qualified candidates interested in the position. For one reason or another, several individuals indicated that this was not the position for them. They could not afford the salary reduction that would be involved, were not interested in Government service at this time in their lives, and so on. It remained that way until Dr. Bernadine Healy was identified and indicated her interest in the position. Confirmation action is now proceeding.
Senator HATFIELD. I believe simultaneously, as we meet here, that the confirmation hearing for the permanent Director is being held at this time. Is that correct?
Dr. RAUB. That's correct, as we speak.
Senator HATFIELD. Mr. Chairman, I have used an unusual procedure this morning in making my opening remarks by posing a question to make a point in saying to Dr. Raub I welcome him to this subcommittee hearing, a man of extraordinary talent for having been able to hold together an institution that is more of a confederation than a federation anyway, 13 separate competing Institutes all most worthy of greater funding, under the authority of an Acting Director. I think it is an extraordinary example of leadership, and I commend Dr. Raub.
I think it is very unfortunate for the institution that there has been this inordinate delay between the time that notice was made public, pre-July of 1989, by Dr. Wyngaarden and the fact that it took until today to get to the hearing stage of finding and establishing a successor.
You are neither fish nor fowl in that role of Acting Director. You have to keep the ship afloat. You have to make projections for the future. And it is hard for people to take you seriously in many ways because they say, well, Dr. Raub is not going to be here to fulfill or implement these policies or changes that are occurring or should occur. I just think it is a remarkable demonstration of leadership, and I wanted to take this occasion to thank you and to say to you that we owe you, indeed, a great debt of gratitude.
And again, whether it is the process, or whether it is the appointing activity, or whether it is the confirmation activity, we all