Summary: S.2046 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (09/21/2000)

Federal Research Investment Act - Title I: Federal Research Investment - Calls for: (1) Federal research and development programs to be conducted in accordance with specified guiding principles with respect to good science, fiscal accountability, program effectiveness, and criteria for government funding; and (2) doubling Federal basic research funding over 11 years.

Authorizes aggregate funding levels for civilian research and development (R&D) in specified agencies for FY 2000 through 2011. Sets forth requirements for adjusting amounts received by agencies for which appropriations for R&D increase by more than eight percent in a covered fiscal year.

(Sec. 106) Requires the Director of the Office of Science and Technology to submit annually to Congress a report providing: (1) a summary of the total level of Federal funding for R&D by civilian agencies; (2) a strategy reflecting funding projections of this Act; (3) an analysis of funding levels across Federal agencies by funding methodology; (4) a Federal strategy for infrastructure development and R&D capacity building in States with less concentrated R&D resources; and (5) an analysis of total funding for R&D programs throughout all Federal agencies compared with the previous year.

(Sec. 107) Requires the Director to enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a comprehensive study to develop methods for evaluating federally-funded R&D programs. Requires the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), based on study results, to promulgate one or more alternative forms for Federal R&D performance goals. Permits an agency head to apply such an alternative form without further authorization by OMB. Requires agency heads carrying out R&D activities, upon updating a strategic plan, to describe the current and future use of methods for determining an acceptable level of R&D success as recommended by the study. Authorizes appropriations for the study.

(Sec. 108) Requires the OMB Director, based upon program performance reports, to identify the civilian R&D program activities or components which do not meet an acceptable level of success as defined under current law. Directs the head of an agency, for each program activity or component identified as being below the acceptable level of success for two consecutive fiscal years, to submit to the appropriate congressional committees: (1) a concise statement of the steps necessary to bring such program into compliance with performance goals or to terminate such program should compliance efforts fail; and (2) any legislative changes needed to effectuate the steps contained in such statement.

Title II: Networking and Information Technology - Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Act - Amends the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991 to authorize appropriations for FY 2000 through 2004 for research and development (R&D) activities of the following departments and agencies in connection with the High-Performance Computing Program (establishing goals and priorities for, and engaging in, Federal high-performance computing research, development, networking, and related activities): (1) the National Science Foundation (NSF); (2) the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; (3) the Department of Energy; (4) the National Institute of Standards and Technology; (5) the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and (6) the Environmental Protection Agency.

Directs the National Institutes of Health to support activities directed toward establishing university-based centers of excellence pursuing research and training in areas of intersection of information technology and biomedical, life sciences, and behavioral research, and related research. Authorizes appropriations for FY 2000 through 2004 to the Secretary of Health and Human Services for such activities.

(Sec. 204) Earmarks specified amounts of such authorized funds for: (1) long-term basic research on networking and information technology, including grants for information technology research centers; and (2) grants for the development of major research equipment. Authorizes federally funded research and development centers to apply for and be awarded such latter grants.

Directs the NSF to provide grants under the Scientific and Advanced Technology Act of 1992 for information technology education and training grants and internship grants. Requires matching funds. Earmarks funds for such grants for FY 2000 through 2004.

Directs NSF to establish a research program to develop, demonstrate, assess, and disseminate effective applications of information and computer technologies for elementary and secondary education. Earmarks funds for such grants for FY 2000 through 2004.

Authorizes the remaining departments and agencies listed in this title to participate in or support networking and information technology R&D, and authorizes the United States Geological Survey to participate in or support such R&D.

(Sec. 205) Extends through FY 2002 the authorization of appropriations for the Next Generation Internet Program (Federal electronic network R&D programs) Earmarks at least: (1) ten percent of such amounts to fund research grants for making high-speed connectivity more accessible to users in geographically remote areas; and (2) five percent of such amounts for grants to institutions of higher education that are Hispanic-serving, Native American, Hawaiian, or Alaskan, historically Black, or small colleges and universities.

Directs the National Academy of Sciences to study and report to specified congressional committees on the extent to which the Internet backbone and infrastructure contribute to the uneven access to Internet-related technologies and services by rural and low-income Americans. Authorizes appropriations for the study.

(Sec. 206) Requires the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee to: (1) conduct periodic evaluations of the National High-Performance Computing Program, the Next Generation Internet Program, and the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development program; and (2) report findings and recommendations to specified committees at least every two fiscal years.

(Sec. 207) Requires the NSF Director to study and report to Congress concerning high-speed, large bandwidth capacity access for public elementary and secondary schools and libraries, and related issues.

(Sec. 208) Requires the NSF Director to enter into an arrangement for the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences to study the accessibility to information technologies by individuals who are elderly, elderly with a disability, or disabled. Requires the Director to report study results to Congress.

(Sec. 209) Directs the Comptroller General to report to Congress on a study analyzing the effects of this Act and its amendments on lower income families, minorities, and women.