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Freedom of Information Act Office

IC Directors' Meeting Highlights

July 21, 2004

To: IC Directors
From: Director, Executive Secretariat
Subject: IC Directors Meeting Highlights—May 27, 2004

Discussion Items

l. Enhancing Public Input and Transparency in the NIH Research Priority-Setting Process

Dr. Zerhouni introduced Barbara Butler and Jim Armstrong, members of the Director’s Council of Public Representatives. He had asked that they present to the IC Directors the report of the COPR’s Public Input and Participation Work Group that was discussed at the April 29 COPR meeting.

Ms. Butler and Mr. Armstrong briefly described the process that the Work Group had followed in preparing the report, “Enhancing Public Input and Transparency in the National Institutes of Health Research Priority-Setting Process.” They noted that the report’s recommendations focus on enhancing public awareness and increasing NIH decision makers’ access to input from the public. The Work Group emphasized the importance of being proactive-soliciting input rather than just accepting it when offered-and providing various means of input. Ms. Butler and Mr. Armstrong also pointed out that the report’s recommendations reflect best practices of a number of ICs. The Work Group found many differences among the ICs and saw a great deal of potential in greater sharing of ideas and experiences toward a more consistent approach across the NIH.

In discussion, the group expressed appreciation to the Work Group and the COPR for their advice and assistance. Dr. Grady noted that the Public Trust Initiative relates closely to the COPR’s work, and that she and Dr. Maddox would work with the group.

II. FY 2006 Building and Facilities Plan

Dr. Hodes began by reviewing the framework and process within which the Facilities Working Group develops plans and makes decisions. He then summarized B&F priorities for the next 5 years, a proposed 5-year plan for B&F, and options for FY06. The group discussed the options and their likely consequences. All agreed that they would discuss these issues further at the NIH Budget Retreat in June.

III. Discussion of Upcoming Priority Setting Hearing

Dr. Zerhouni is testifying on June 2 at a hearing being held jointly by the Subcommittees on Health and on Oversight and Investigations of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Mr. Smolonsky updated the group on efforts by the Subcommittee on Health toward writing new authorizing legislation for the NIH. Subcommittee staff has interviewed IC Directors and the Subcommittee is holding a series of hearings. The previous hearing focused on clinical research. The June 2 hearing will consider budgeting and priority setting.

Dr. Zerhouni led discussion of areas on which he will focus his testimony and topics that Members are likely to raise at the hearing.

Tom Gill
cc: OD Staff

This page last reviewed on July 14, 2011

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