Freedom of Information Act Office
IC Directors' Meeting Highlights
February 24, 2004
|From:||Acting Director, Executive Secretariat|
|Subject:||IC Directors Meeting Highlights—February 12, 2004|
l. Roadmap Update
Dr. Kleinman began by discussing the following operating principles for Roadmap management:
Reflect the collaborative process used to develop initiatives
Be informed by, but not bound by, current NIH practices
Maintain central administrative services
Be transparent to NIH
Include prospective evaluation
Next she explained the Roadmap organizational and reporting structure,
The Roadmap Implementation Coordination Committee, which comprises representatives from the Offices of Science Policy, Extramural Research, Intramural Research, Budget, and Communications and Public Liaison, as well as the nine implementation group chairs, provides governance for the overall Roadmap, facilitates coordination and communication between the working groups, and provides guidance for overall evaluation of the Roadmap.
Each IC has a Roadmap liaison who can speak on behalf of the IC Director, is responsible for keeping the IC and its advocacy groups informed, and serves as the point of contact with the IC's extramural community.
She also referred the group to http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/ for a list of current activities and initiatives and noted that by registering, interested people can be automatically updated when new initiatives are introduced.
She continued by explaining the new, flexible research authority provided in Section 221 of the Labor/HHS General Provisions that authorizes the Director to use $7.5 million of the Director's Discretionary Fund to enter into agreements other than the currently authorized mechanisms and to use elements of peer review as appropriate for scientific and technical assessment.
After thanking Dr. Skirboll for her efforts regarding evaluation, Mr. Burklow for his related to communication and Mr. Turman for his related to Budget, she noted that on February 20, the Office of Communications will host a Roadmap briefing for NIH employees.
The discussion that followed centered on how best to communicate with the research community proactively so that scientists clearly understand why the Roadmap is the right way to go and how it will create synergy and best take advantage of scientific opportunities. Dr. Zerhouni asked Dr. Kleinman to prepare Q's and A's that will meet address these information needs and any misperceptions head on.
ll. Outside Activities
Dr. Kington, in his role as NIH Deputy Ethics Counselor, summarized NIH actions related to management of conflict of interest issues and updated the group on recent policy and procedural changes in the review of outside activities and awards.
The NIH has instituted centralized ethics reviews for all senior NIH officials. We have established an NIH Ethics Advisory Committee (co-chaired by Dr. Kington and Dr. Gottesman) that will review outside activities of IC Directors, IC Deputy Directors, Scientific Directors, Clinical Directors, Extramural Directors, and OD Senior Staff. NIH has also established a Blue Ribbon Panel of outside advisors that will submit a report and make recommendations to the Advisory Committee to the Director after it reviews the existing laws, regulations, policies and procedures in this area.
Dr. Kington also mentioned three other active reviews: Office of Government Ethics Periodic Audit, a GAO Study of NIH Conflict of Interest Management, and an HHS OIG Study of NIH Conflict of Interest Management.
He then discussed a change in NIH policy and procedures that has recently been implemented. NIH employees are now required to report the amount and type of income, compensation, fees, remuneration, expenses or reimbursement for proposed and past ongoing activities.
Dr. Kington stressed that IC Designated Ethics Counselors remain the conduits for reporting and that their position descriptions need to contain these responsibilities.
A lively discussion followed in which members of the groups requested ongoing dialogue and continuing guidance on this complex issue.
llI. Steering Committee Update
Dr. Kington updated the group on the last three Steering Committee meetings and issues, including a discussion and update of the FTE plan to accommodate the Extramural Support Service MEO as well as the Extramural Activities Working group efforts regarding HSEPP and indirect costs.
IV. Other Information Items
After thanking a number of ICs who have contributed information to the Web site, Dr. Hodes updated the group on this resource developed by NIA and NLM. He and Dr. Lindberg remarked that it was extremely popular, and they wanted to continue to add to the site. IC Communication Officers should contact NIA and NLM if there are questions or for advice on how to contribute. The group particularly enjoyed seeing video materials from that site showing a number of IC Directors and Dr. Zerhouni and Dr. Kington exercising and extolling the value of exercise in improving health.
lV. Outside Activities
Dr. Tabak thanked Mr. Ficca, Mr. Taylor, and Dr. Gottesman for helping NIDCR staff in the aftermath of the devastating fire in Building 30. Dr. Zerhouni added that members of NIDCR staff acted heroically in saving animals and research.
Dr. Spiegel announced that the draft Strategic Plan for NIH Obesity Research can be downloaded at http://www.obesityresearch.nih.gov/.
cc: OD Staff