H.R. 5049 would direct the National Science Foundation (NSF) to audit its major multi-user research facilities. Those facilities are centers for research in various fields including physics, astronomy, geosciences, engineering, and nanotechnology. In 2015, $1.1 billion was appropriated to NSF for the operation, development, construction, and maintenance of more than 20 such facilities.
The bill also would authorize NSF to pay management fees as a part of their research awards under certain conditions and would require the agency to provide additional education and training for NSF managers and staff regarding employment protections for persons reporting a possible misuse of government funds.
Based on information from NSF, CBO estimates that conducting the audits required by the legislation would cost about $2 million annually and $10 million over the 2017-2021 period; such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds. Other provisions would not have a significant cost.
Enacting H.R. 5049 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 5049 would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2027.
H.R. 5049 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.