Working on behalf of an association client, Lewis-Burke employed several strategies to modify the procurement rules for federal research awards and provide relief from administrative burden for the research community. Lewis-Burke leveraged its knowledge of the underlying regulatory issues to provide suggested legislative language to key congressional offices during the drafting of the fiscal year (FY) 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and successfully engaged numerous other offices to ensure the language was included in the final compromise version of the bill. When the NDAA was signed into law in December 2016, it established new procurement standards for lower cost purchases, thus reducing administrative burden for federally-funded investigators. While pursuing this legislative strategy, Lewis-Burke also engaged with senior officials at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), leading the agency to initiate an update of the procurement standards. These regulatory updates from OMB are currently under consideration. Updating procurement standards to lessen administrative burden was one of the recommendations from the 2015 National Academies report, Optimizing the Nation’s Investment in Academic Research.
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