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Enhancing the productivity of the Federal Government's partnership with institutions of higher education would yield long-term benefits for the nation. One way to enhance the partnership's productivity is to streamline Federal oversight requirements to maintain good stewardship of Federal investments while reducing the cost and burden of compliance. Streamlining promotes better use of human and financial resources available for achieving programmatic outcomes by reducing both the amount of time that researchers spend on administrative tasks and institutions' costs of compliance with the Federal requirements.

To review and address these issues, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) directed the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) to establish an interagency task force to consider revisions to OMB Circular A-21, "Cost Principles for Educational Institutions." The Task Force on Cost Principles for Educational Institutions (TF A-21) was established by the NSTC's Committee on Science (CoS), Subcommittee on Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE), Interagency Working Group on Research Business Models (RBM). The Task Force is co-chaired by Sally Rockey (NIH), Mark Herbst (DOD), and Gil Tran (OMB).

OMB and OSTP tasked TF A-21 with considering revisions to Circular A-21 and related documents that could reduce compliance costs and administrative burdens associated with Federal grants and contracts awarded to educational institutions, while maintaining responsible oversight of Federal investments in R&D.


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The Subcommittee has established the following email address for receiving comments and questions related to its activities: nstc_rbm@od.nih.gov.