Guidance on Publications – The Stevens Amendment

The Council on Governmental Relations (COGR) has received numerous inquiries about the recent news article and letter to the GAO sent by Senators Flake, Johnson, McCain and Lankford asking for an investigation into violations of the Stevens Amendment. The Stevens Amendment, enacted since 1989, requires the acknowledgment of federal support under the following circumstances and is included in yearly Guide notices by the NIH:

“When issuing statements, press releases, requests for proposals, bid solicitations and other documents describing projects or programs funded in whole or in part with Federal money, all grantees receiving Federal funds included in this Act, including but not limited to State and local governments and recipients of Federal research grants, shall clearly state—

(1) the percentage of the total costs of the program or project which will be financed with Federal money;
(2) the dollar amount of Federal funds for the project or program; and
(3) percentage and dollar amount of the total costs of the project or program that will be financed by non-governmental sources.

Questions have been asked as to whether, in addition to press releases, the law applies to publications. While we don’t have a definitive answer at this time, it could fall into the “other documents” category. Holly Koschun, Director, Research Communications-Emory University, has contacted NIH directly regarding this issue and was informed that we only need to cite NIH funding and not the rest of the detail which could be difficult to calculate or justify. In terms of next steps, we have been informed that the GAO will negotiate the scope of work based on the Senators’ request and will conduct an analysis of the legislative history and intent. Once this occurs, COGR will plan to meet with the GAO to discuss and we will share an update at that point.

Any questions regarding this can be directed to your assigned OSP Analyst.


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