On 22 June 2012, the NSC Alliance wrote to President Obama’s senior advisers on budget and science regarding the establishment of new federal scientific collections.
The letter from NSC Alliance President Dr. Larry Page thanks the Administration for its actions to encourage federal agencies to identify and more adequately budget for federally owned scientific collections. The letter points out, however, that federal personnel are sometimes unaware of specimens or data housed in non-federal institutions. This oversight can result in the establishment of a new collection when one or more already exists at a nearby non-federal facility.
“In the interest of improved stewardship of taxpayer resources and increased government efficiency, we respectfully request that you direct federal agencies to conduct a cost-benefit analysis prior to establishing a new federal collection,” states the letters. “We suggest that no new federal scientific collection be established unless it has been determined that funding an existing non-federal collection to curate the specimens will not be more cost-effective.”
The letter was sent to Dr. John Holdren, Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, and Mr. Jeffrey Zients, Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget.