Senators worried NSF overwhelmed
- By Paula Shaki Trimble
- May 05, 2000
Senate appropriators on Thursday questioned the National Science Foundation's
capacity to handle a historic proposed $675 million budget increase for
fiscal 2001 and new program responsibilities.
"While auditors have not identified any significant financial or management
problems with NSF, I am concerned about NSF taking on more responsibilities,
especially when its staffing resources have remained flat over the past
several years," said Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond (R-Mo.), chairman of the
Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban
Development and Independent Agencies. Bond spoke during a hearing on fiscal
2001 budget requests for NSF and the White House Office of Science and Technology
While Bond and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) expressed support for the
agency's lead on initiatives in biotechnology and information technology
research and development, they voiced concern about NSF's ability to handle
large, multiagency initiatives.
In its fiscal 2001 budget request, the Clinton administration appointed
NSF the lead agency for the national nanotechnology initiative.
NSF and other agencies involved in the nanotechnology initiative are
developing an implementation plan to coordinate various agencies' activities,
said Neal Lane, the president's science adviser. That plan may include a
small coordination committee based at NSF, he said.