Freedom of Information Act Office
IC Directors' Meeting Highlights
January 9, 2007
|From:||Senior Assistant to the Deputy Director|
|Subject:||IC Directors' Meeting Highlights — October 26, 2006|
Ethics Survey Results –
Dr. Kington introduced the results of an NIH Ethics Survey, a web survey of current employees taken in the summer of 2006 to examine the impact of the new ethics rules. Mr. Larry Luskin and Mr. Chris Bishop from ORC Macro (an independent analysis firm) explained survey results and conclusions.
8000 employees responded to the web-based survey, covering areas such as job satisfaction, understanding of the new ethics rules, perceived impact of the rules, and evaluation of ethics training. Available demographic information reflected that this group of respondents had comparable distribution to the entire NIH employee population.
Major findings included:
Almost three-quarters (73%) of the respondents (8,000 employees) felt that the new ethics rules would have a positive impact on credibility with the public.
More than half of the survey participants felt that the new ethics rules would have a negative impact on recruitment (56%) or retention (55%) of staff.
More than three-quarters of the respondents felt that the new rules would have no impact (67%) or had a positive impact (19%) on their career outlook. The new rules either had no impact (65%) on job satisfaction, or had a positive impact on it (19%). For the category of "ability to perform their job well," 90% of those who responded felt that the rules had no impact (71%), or had a positive impact (19%) on this measure.
However, those who have had to take action as a result of the new rules, and scientists as a group (the two categories overlap), had considerably more negative perceptions of the new ethics rules and their impact on recruitment and retention.
There are some areas in the survey where interpretation of results is difficult. For example scientists (18.1%) were more likely than non-scientists (8.1%) to report that they were actively or had considered looking for a position outside of NIH. However job satisfaction and intent to be working for NIH next year was higher among scientists compared to the respondents as a whole:
“Considering everything, I am satisfied with my job.”
- 81.3% all scientists
- 79.1% tenured/tenure track scientists
- 78.6% all respondents
Intention to be working at NIH next year
- 87.8% all scientistS
- 86.1% tenured/tenure track scientists
- 85.6% all respondents
Questions followed regarding further breakdown of responses between scientific and non-scientific staff, particularly regarding issues of staff retention.
While some of this information is available, Dr. Kington stated that NIH does not have the data and needs to maintain this separation in order to protect the confidentiality of the respondents and to maintain the integrity of the results. NIH is waiting for OMB clearance to conduct the next phase of the survey, where employees who recently left NIH will be contacted to determine the impact of the new ethics rules on their decisions to leave.
Forms used for ethics training are being revised and posted online. Efforts are being made to modify the ethics training program for ease of use.
Penny Wung Burgoon