Text: S.1973 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (10/17/2017)

 
[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
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[S. 1973 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

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115th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                S. 1973

             To provide for Federal research grant reform.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                            October 17, 2017

   Mr. Paul introduced the following bill; which was read twice and 
referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
             To provide for Federal research grant reform.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``BASIC Research Act''.

SEC. 2. REVIEW PANELS.

    (a) Inclusion on Review Panels.--Notwithstanding any other 
provision of law, each review panel for a specific Federal research 
grant shall include--
            (1) at least one individual who is not professionally 
        affiliated with any academic or research institution, has not 
        been professionally affiliated in the 10 years preceding the 
        date of inclusion on the panel, and is an expert in a field 
        unrelated to the field of research under which the grant 
        proposal was submitted; and
            (2) at least one individual who shall serve primarily as a 
        ``taxpayer advocate'' (defined as someone whose main focus is 
        on the value proposed research delivers to the taxpayer).
    (b) Prohibition on Receiving Recommendations From Grant Applicants 
on Review Panel.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, each 
agency that awards a Federal research grant shall not accept 
recommendations from an applicant for such grant as to who should or 
should not be on the grant review panel for such applicant.
    (c) Nondisclosure of Members of Grant Review Panel.--
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, each agency that awards a 
Federal research grant shall not disclose, either publicly or 
privately, to an applicant for such grant the identity of any member of 
the grant review panel for such applicant.

SEC. 3. SPECIAL INSPECTOR GENERAL AND TAXPAYER ADVOCATE FOR RESEARCH.

    (a) Establishment.--
            (1) In general.--There is established an Office of the 
        Special Inspector General and Taxpayer Advocate for Research.
            (2) Head of office.--There shall be at the head of the 
        Office described in paragraph (1) the Special Inspector General 
        and Taxpayer Advocate for Research, who shall be appointed by 
        the President, by and with the advice and consent of the 
        Senate.
    (b) Transfer of Functions and Savings.--
            (1) Definitions.--In this subsection, unless otherwise 
        provided or indicated by the context--
                    (A) the term ``Federal agency'' has the meaning 
                given to the term ``agency'' by section 551(1) of title 
                5, United States Code;
                    (B) the term ``function'' means any duty, 
                obligation, power, authority, responsibility, right, 
                privilege, activity, or program; and
                    (C) the term ``office'' includes any office, 
                administration, agency, institute, unit, organizational 
                entity, or component thereof.
            (2) Transfer.--There are transferred to the Office of the 
        Special Inspector General and Taxpayer Advocate for Research 
        all functions which the Office of Inspector General of the 
        National Science Foundation exercised before the date of 
        enactment of this Act (including all related functions of any 
        officer or employee of the Office of Inspector General of the 
        National Science Foundation).
            (3) Rules.--The Office of the Special Inspector General and 
        Taxpayer Advocate for Research is authorized to prescribe, in 
        accordance with the provisions of chapters 5 and 6 of title 5, 
        United States Code, such rules and regulations as the Office of 
        the Special Inspector General and Taxpayer Advocate for 
        Research determines necessary or appropriate to administer and 
        manage the functions of the Office of the Special Inspector 
        General and Taxpayer Advocate for Research.
            (4) Transfer and allocations of appropriations and 
        personnel.--Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, 
        the personnel employed in connection with, and the assets, 
        liabilities, contracts, property, records, and unexpended 
        balances of appropriations, authorizations, allocations, and 
        other funds employed, used, held, arising from, available to, 
        or to be made available in connection with the functions 
        transferred by this subsection, subject to section 1531 of 
        title 31, United States Code, shall be transferred to the 
        Office of the Special Inspector General and Taxpayer Advocate 
        for Research. Unexpended funds transferred pursuant to this 
        paragraph shall be used only for the purposes for which the 
        funds were originally authorized and appropriated.
            (5) Savings provisions.--
                    (A) Continuing effect of legal documents.--All 
                orders, determinations, rules, regulations, permits, 
                agreements, grants, contracts, certificates, licenses, 
                registrations, privileges, and other administrative 
                actions--
                            (i) which have been issued, made, granted, 
                        or allowed to become effective by the 
                        President, any Federal agency or official 
                        thereof, or by a court of competent 
                        jurisdiction, in the performance of functions 
                        which are transferred under this subsection; 
                        and
                            (ii) which are in effect at the time this 
                        subsection takes effect, or were final before 
                        the effective date of this subsection and are 
                        to become effective on or after the effective 
                        date of this subsection,
                shall continue in effect according to their terms until 
                modified, terminated, superseded, set aside, or revoked 
                in accordance with law by the President, the Office of 
                the Special Inspector General and Taxpayer Advocate for 
                Research or other authorized official, a court of 
                competent jurisdiction, or by operation of law.
                    (B) Proceedings not affected.--The provisions of 
                this subsection shall not affect any proceedings, 
                including notices of proposed rulemaking, or any 
                application for any license, permit, certificate, or 
                financial assistance pending before the Office of 
                Inspector General of the National Science Foundation at 
                the time this subsection takes effect, with respect to 
                functions transferred by this subsection but such 
                proceedings and applications shall be continued. Orders 
                shall be issued in such proceedings, appeals shall be 
                taken therefrom, and payments shall be made pursuant to 
                such orders, as if this subsection had not been 
                enacted, and orders issued in any such proceedings 
                shall continue in effect until modified, terminated, 
                superseded, or revoked by a duly authorized official, 
                by a court of competent jurisdiction, or by operation 
                of law. Nothing in this subparagraph shall be deemed to 
                prohibit the discontinuance or modification of any such 
                proceeding under the same terms and conditions and to 
                the same extent that such proceeding could have been 
                discontinued or modified if this subsection had not 
                been enacted.
                    (C) Suits not affected.--The provisions of this 
                subsection shall not affect suits commenced before the 
                effective date of this subsection, and in all such 
                suits, proceedings shall be had, appeals taken, and 
                judgments rendered in the same manner and with the same 
                effect as if this subsection had not been enacted.
                    (D) Nonabatement of actions.--No suit, action, or 
                other proceeding commenced by or against the Office of 
                Inspector General of the National Science Foundation, 
                or by or against any individual in the official 
                capacity of such individual as an officer of the Office 
                of Inspector General of the National Science 
                Foundation, shall abate by reason of the enactment of 
                this subsection.
                    (E) Administrative actions relating to promulgation 
                of regulations.--Any administrative action relating to 
                the preparation or promulgation of a regulation by the 
                Office of Inspector General of the National Science 
                Foundation relating to a function transferred under 
                this subsection may be continued by the Office of the 
                Special Inspector General and Taxpayer Advocate for 
                Research with the same effect as if this subsection had 
                not been enacted.
    (c) Powers and Authorities.--
            (1) Duties.--In addition to the duties otherwise described 
        in this section, the Special Inspector General and Taxpayer 
        Advocate for Research shall also have the duties and 
        responsibilities of inspectors general under the Inspector 
        General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.).
            (2) Authorities.--In carrying out the duties described in 
        paragraph (1) and otherwise described in this section, the 
        Special Inspector General and Taxpayer Advocate for Research 
        shall have the authorities provided in section 6 of the 
        Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.).
    (d) Focus and Review.--The focus of the Office of the Special 
Inspector General and Taxpayer Advocate for Research shall be to review 
Federal grant projects to determine if the research will deliver value 
to the taxpayers by randomly selecting Federal grants for review after 
awards are made but prior to distribution of funds.
    (e) Grant Support.--For a Federal grant reviewed under subsection 
(d) to receive the grant funds, the grant shall receive the support of 
the Office of the Special Inspector General and Taxpayer Advocate for 
Research.

SEC. 4. PUBLIC ACCESSIBILITY OF RESEARCH FUNDED BY TAXPAYERS.

    (a) Definition of Federal Agency.--In this section, the term 
``Federal agency'' means an Executive agency, as defined under section 
105 of title 5, United States Code.
    (b) Federal Research Public Access Policy.--
            (1) Requirement to develop policy.--
                    (A) In general.--Not later than 1 year after the 
                date of enactment of this section, each Federal agency 
                with annual extramural research expenditures of over 
                $100,000,000 shall develop a Federal research public 
                access policy that is consistent with and advances the 
                purposes of the Federal agency.
                    (B) Common procedures.--To the extent practicable, 
                Federal agencies required to develop a policy under 
                subparagraph (A) shall follow common procedures for the 
                collection and depositing of research papers.
            (2) Content.--Each Federal research public access policy 
        shall provide for--
                    (A) submission to a digital repository designated 
                or maintained by the Federal agency of an electronic 
                version of the author's final manuscript of original 
                research papers that have been accepted for publication 
                in peer-reviewed journals and that result from research 
                supported, in whole or in part, from funding by the 
                Federal Government;
                    (B) the incorporation of all changes resulting from 
                the peer review publication process in the manuscript 
                described under subparagraph (A);
                    (C) the replacement of the final manuscript with 
                the final published version if--
                            (i) the publisher consents to the 
                        replacement; and
                            (ii) the goals of the Federal agency for 
                        functionality and interoperability are 
                        retained;
                    (D) free online public access to such final peer-
                reviewed manuscripts or published versions within a 
                time period that is appropriate for each type of 
                research conducted or sponsored by the Federal agency, 
                not later than 12 months after publication in peer-
                reviewed journals, preferably sooner, or as adjusted 
                under established mechanisms;
                    (E) a means, using established mechanisms for 
                making requests to the applicable Federal agency, for 
                members of the public and other stakeholders to request 
                to adjust the period before such a final peer-reviewed 
                manuscript or published version is made publicly 
                available by presenting evidence demonstrating that the 
                period is inconsistent with the objectives of the 
                Federal research public access policy or the needs of 
                the public, industry, or the scientific community;
                    (F) providing research papers as described in 
                subparagraph (D) in formats and under terms that enable 
                productive reuse of the research and computational 
                analysis by state-of-the-art technologies;
                    (G) improving the ability of the public to locate 
                and access research papers made accessible under the 
                Federal research public access policy; and
                    (H) long-term preservation of, and free public 
                access to, published research findings--
                            (i) in a stable digital repository 
                        maintained by the Federal agency; or
                            (ii) if consistent with the purposes of the 
                        Federal agency, in any repository meeting 
                        conditions determined favorable by the Federal 
                        agency, including free public access, 
                        interoperability, and long-term preservation.
            (3) Application of policy.--Each Federal research public 
        access policy shall--
                    (A) apply to--
                            (i) researchers employed by the Federal 
                        agency whose works remain in the public domain; 
                        and
                            (ii) researchers funded by the Federal 
                        agency;
                    (B) provide that works described under subparagraph 
                (A)(i) shall be--
                            (i) marked as being public domain material 
                        when published; and
                            (ii) made available at the same time such 
                        works are made available under paragraph 
                        (2)(D); and
                    (C) make effective use of any law or guidance 
                relating to the creation and reservation of a 
                Government license that provides for the reproduction, 
                publication, release, or other uses of a final 
                manuscript for Federal purposes.
            (4) Exclusions.--Each Federal research public access policy 
        shall not apply to--
                    (A) research progress reports presented at 
                professional meetings or conferences;
                    (B) laboratory notes, preliminary data analyses, 
                notes of the author, phone logs, or other information 
                used to produce final manuscripts;
                    (C) classified research, research resulting in 
                works that generate revenue or royalties for authors 
                (such as books) or patentable discoveries, to the 
                extent necessary to protect a copyright or patent; or
                    (D) authors who do not submit their work to a 
                journal or works that are rejected by journals.
            (5) Patent or copyright law.--Nothing in this section shall 
        be construed to affect any right under the provisions of title 
        17 or 35, United States Code.
            (6) GAO report.--Not later than 3 years after the date of 
        enactment of this section, and every 5 years thereafter, the 
        Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to 
        Congress a report that--
                    (A) includes an analysis of the period between the 
                date on which each paper becomes publicly available in 
                a journal and the date on which the paper is in the 
                online repository of the applicable Federal agency; and
                    (B) examines the effectiveness of the Federal 
                research public access policy in providing the public 
                with free online access to papers on research funded by 
                each Federal agency required to develop a policy under 
                paragraph (1)(A), including--
                            (i) whether the terms of use applicable to 
                        such research papers in effect are effective in 
                        enabling productive reuse of the research and 
                        computational analysis by state-of-the-art 
                        technologies; and
                            (ii) examines whether such research papers 
                        should include a royalty-free copyright license 
                        that is available to the public and that 
                        permits the reuse of those research papers, on 
                        the condition that attribution is given to the 
                        author or authors of the research and any 
                        others designated by the copyright owner.

SEC. 5. DOWNSTREAM REPORTING.

    Any person or institution awarded a Federal grant shall submit a 
statement to the head of the agency that awarded the Federal grant 
certifying that--
            (1) no funds derived from the grant will be made available 
        through a subgrant or subsequent grant (including to an 
        employee or subdivision of the grant recipient's organization) 
        unless the name of such recipient, their organization of 
        affiliation, the intended uses and purposes of such funds, and 
        specific amounts subgranted or subsequently granted funds are 
        disclosed to the head of the agency that awarded the Federal 
        grant for publication on a publicly accessible website; and
            (2) each subgrant or subsequent grant award (including to 
        an employee or subdivision of the grant recipient's 
        organization) funded with funds derived from the Federal grant 
        is within the scope of the Federal grant award.

SEC. 6. GRANT APPLICATIONS PUBLICLY AVAILABLE.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, each application for a 
Federal grant shall be made publicly available.

SEC. 7. IMPARTIALITY IN FUNDING SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, each Federal agency, in 
awarding grants for scientific research, shall be impartial and shall 
not seek to advance any political position or fund a grant to reach a 
predetermined conclusion.
                                 <all>

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