Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (05/12/1998)


Title I: National Science Foundation Authorization

Title II: General Provisions

National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 1998 - Title I: National Science Foundation Authorization - Sets forth long-term goals and core strategies of the National Science Foundation (NSF). Authorizes appropriations to NSF through FY 2000.

(Sec. 103) Provides for the proportional reduction of Research and Related Activities amounts available for each scientific directorate if the total amount appropriated to carry out Research and Related Activities for FY 1998 or 1999 is less than the amount authorized under this Act.

(Sec. 104) Sets a limitation on consultation, representation, and other extraordinary expenses.

(Sec. 105) Prohibits funds appropriated pursuant to this Act from being used for the United States Man and the Biosphere Program or related projects.

Title II: General Provisions - Directs NSF to submit to the Congress an annual plan for the proposed construction of, and repair and upgrades to, national research facilities.

(Sec. 202) Makes administrative amendments to the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, the National Science Foundation Authorization Act, 1976, the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 1988, and the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act.

(Sec. 203) Directs the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, in consultation with other relevant agencies the Director deems appropriate, to prepare a certain report analyzing the Federal indirect cost reimbursement rates paid to universities in comparison with Federal indirect cost reimbursement rates paid to other entities, such as industry, government laboratories, research hospitals, and non-profit institutions. Requires that such report be transmitted to the Congress no later than one year after the date of enactment of this Act.

(Sec. 204) Subjects NSF temporary employees to the same financial disclosure requirements as apply to permanent employees.

(Sec. 205) Requires that if any funds appropriated pursuant to the amendments made by this Act are subject to a reprogramming action that requires notice to be provided to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, notice of that action shall concurrently be provided to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, and the House Committee on Science. Directs the NSF Director to provide notice not later than 15 days before any major reorganization of any NSF program, project, or activity.

(Sec. 206) Expresses the sense of the Congress that the NSF Director should, to the greatest extent practicable and in a manner consistent with applicable Federal law (including Executive Order No. 12999), donate educationally useful Federal equipment to schools in order to enhance the science and mathematics programs of those schools. Requires: (1) the Director to submit an annual report to the President describing donations of educationally useful Federal equipment to schools; and (2) the President to submit that report to the Congress with the Federal budget proposal.

(Sec. 207) Directs the NSF Director: (1) with the assistance of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, to convene appropriate Federal officials, appropriate representatives of the postsecondary education community, and reserve members of the armed forces to discuss and seek a consensus on the appropriate resolution to problems relating to the academic standing and financial responsibilities of postsecondary students called or ordered to active duty in the armed forces; and (2) to report to the Congress on the results and any consensus recommendations, as well as any significant opinions expressed by each participant that are not incorporated in such a recommendation.

(Sec. 208) Amends the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1991 to rename the Critical Technologies Institute as the Science and Technology Policy Institute.

(Sec. 209) Expresses the sense of the Congress that NSF should: (1) give high priority to correcting all two-digit date-related problems in its computer systems to ensure that those systems continue to operate effectively in the year 2000 and beyond; (2) assess immediately the extent of the risk to NSF operations posed by such problems, and plan and budget for achieving Year 2000 compliance for all its mission-critical systems; and (3) develop contingency plans for those systems that NSF is unable to correct in time.