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Recently we asked our outside advertising agency to obtain solutions samples containing benzidine and PCB solutions from the EPA Cincinnati repository.
Benzidine is a know carcinogen and subjected to severe handling restriction by OSHA. PCB's a suspected carcinogens and also subjected to strict EPA regulation.
The samples were promptly sent and received by our agency with no questions asked. They were later forwarded to us for analysis. No one in our agency is a chenist or had knowledge of the hazards associated with these chemicals. We ask, why was not a check made on our agencies qualifications before supplying the materials?
We promptly analyzed the materials with results as shown below:
Cincinnati EPA Repository
#1. Benzidine Solution labeled 5000 £ 500 mg/ml dated
We found the solution to be benzidine
Use of this item as a standard for Benzidine would obviously lead to erroneous results.
Arochlor @ 1232 Solution in Methanol labeled 0.1 mg/ml.
Sample was referee checked at Greenwood Laboratories and found to be about 14% low. This confirmed our internal figures from our analysis,
We recognize that Arochlor @can vary percentage wise as much as found, but there is no reason not to properly indicate the correct analysis of the solution.
In addition to the samples listed above, we have had numerous complaints by EPA customers that our indicated product purity does not agree with the EPA provided sample. We have yet to find our analysis incorrect in any rechecking
Our question is, if the EPA is not policing their current products, what assurance does the trade have as to the reliability of the proposed CRADA program? Will it solve the matter?
Most of the sample work furnished by EPA has been done under contract to them. EPA should certainly perform the necessary analysis on the products they distribute as standards.
We have been seeing only 100% questionable products; therefore, we are certainly reluctant to bid on any currently available EPA repository stock as request by EPA in their attached letter of February 22, 1990.
Ms. SCHNEIDER. Although today's hearing isn't going to focus on this particular issue, I do understand that the subcommittee chairman is willing to look into this issue further. And I'd like to express my appreciation publicly to him at this time.
So, Mr. Chairman, I thank you kindly and look forward to hearing from our expert witnesses.
Mr. VALENTINE. Thank you, ma'am.
Again, I reiterate that I'm very pleased that we have what I consider to be a very important hearing here today—to not only look at the effect of the Technology Transfer Act, but what more we can do here in Congress to expedite this transfer, valuable transfer.
I think it is particularly important, as we look to changes in defense, that we look more toward commercialization of what the public sector has for the vitality of our country and our communities. And I see that particularly as we look toward competitiveness. Technology transfer is where it's at.
I'm honored to represent an area that has a lot of Federal laboratories that are involved in this: NIST, for one, and the National Institutes of Health, where Dr. Chen is going to be speaking, and numerous other laboratories and also those on the receiving end of technology transfer in terms of the private sector. And I'm also pleased-you have a lot of very—we have very prominent speakers here today in addition to the GAO and NIH, Dr. Giannini, who is here, too. And I look forward to learning from this hearing, and I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. VALENTINE. Thank you. I had the opportunity, I must say to the lady, to take just a minute to visit NIST Monday and I recommend that-I commend that trip to the membership and others. In addition to what goes on inside those buildings, the deer preserve is interesting
Mr. VALENTINE. Really. A whole herd of wild deer have been pressed by civilization into that enclosure and have become, as some say, pests—terrible thing, one broke in, jumped through a window and tore up a desk out there. Caused as much trouble in that one place as a Member of Congress could.
Mrs. MORELLA. Mr. Chairman, if I just might ask you to yield for a minute. It's interesting. My son I have a son who lives near there who also just recently had to borrow one of our cars because his car was hit by a deer, almost literally that way. And this, evidently, is pretty prevalent there.
We've always said NIST, before the name change, was the best kept secret. And so, evidently, it's not much of a secret for the deer, but it is-but that fascinating part is a secret for others.
So, I'm pleased that you were there, and I do commend that visit to others, too, particularly because we enhance NIST in our trade bill.
Mr. VALENTINE. Mr. Rhodes.
Mr. RHODES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Having no deer stories to tell, I will waive the opportunity for an opening statement and look forward to the testimony this morning.
Thanks, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. VALENTINE. Our-well, I won't get into the spelling of that or anything like that.
I have for the record here, and ask unanimous consent to insert into the record an opening statement prepared and sent to us by our colleague, Representative Jerry Costello.
Without objection, that will appear in the record now.
OPENING STATEMENT BY U.S. REPRESENTATIVE JERRY COSTELLO, ILLINOIS Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to be here today to investigate the implementation of the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986. I would like to thank the GAO for its study of compliance with this Act among the federal agencies, and I am sure the preliminary data which Mr. Wisler will present today will be very helpful to us in considering steps to improve the effectiveness of federal technology transfer efforts.
I am concerned that 25.7% of the laboratories which have so far responded to the GAO study survey reported that they had received no instructions from their parent agencies as to implementation of the FTTA requirements. I am also disturbed to learn that 80% of the laboratories do not consider "accomplishments” (including technology transfer activities) specifically when making promotion decisions. Such consideration is required by the FTTA and Executive Order 12591.
I look forward to examining this and other implications of the GAO report today, and to hearing from the witnesses from federal laboratories and agencies. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for convening this hearing.
Mr. VALENTINE. Our witnesses today consist of three panels and first, panel one-well, let me introduce and read off the names of all of them.
Panel one is Mr. Carl E. Wisler, Deputy for Planning and Reporting, Program Evaluation and Methodology Division, the U.S. General Accounting Office, with some-his assistants, whom I will ask him to introduce in a second or two.
Panel number two, Mr. Daniel S. Rak, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition Management and Policy, U.S. Air Force; Dr. Margaret J. Giannini, Deputy Assistant Chief Medical Director for Rehabilitation and Prosthetics, Veterans Health Services and Research Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs; Dr. Philip S. Chen, Jr., Associate Director for Intramural Affairs, National Institutes of Health, who is accompanied by Mr. Reid Adler, Director, Office of Technology Transfer.
And panel three, Dr. Loren C. Schmid, Chairman, Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology transfer, Pacific Northwest Laboratory and Dr. Frank Princiotta, Director, Air and Energy Engineering Research Laboratory, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Mr. H. Dana Moran, Manager of Research and Technology Applications, Solar Energy Research Institute.
Panel number one, Mr. Wisler. Welcome. Your statement will appear in the record as submitted to us and we request that you summarize, and if you would introduce those whom you bring with you, we would appreciate it.
STATEMENT OF CARL E. WISLER, DEPUTY FOR PLANNING AND
REPORTING, PROGRAM EVALUATION AND METHODOLOGY DI. VISION, U.S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, ACCOMPANIED BY JAMES SOLOMON, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, PROGRAM EVALUATION AND METHODOLOGY DIVISION, U.S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE; FRANCINE E. JEFFERSON, SOCIAL SCIENCE ANALYST, PROGRAM EVALUATION AND METHODOLOGY DIVI. SION U.S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE; AND CYNTHIA L. WALFORD, PROJECT ADVISER, U.S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, DENVER REGIONAL OFFICE
Mr. WISLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and good morning to you and to the members of the subcommittee. I do welcome this opportunity to contribute to the subcommittee's review of technology transfer in the Federal Government.
Let me introduce my colleagues here. Mr. James Solomon, who is Assistant Director in the Program Evaluation and Methodology Division; and then the two people who have worked most closely with the Federal agencies and the laboratories on this project, to my immediate right, Dr. Francine Jefferson, and at the far end of the table, Ms. Cynthia Walford.
Our work focuses on the implementation of the StevensonWydler Technology Innovation Act as amended by the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986. This legislation established a technology transfer mission for Federal agencies in their research and development laboratories and it created organizations and structures to support that mission. For example, the Act established Offices of Research and Technology Applications to play a role in identifying ideas and developments that might have application outside the Federal Government.
Other key features of the Act intended to foster the transfer of technology include the use of cooperative research and development agreements between laboratories and non-Federal organizations, licensing for patents, cash awards to Federal inventors and provision for inventors to receive at least 15 percent of the royalties from patents.
In September, 1988, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee requested GAO to develop criteria and standards for obtaining comparable data on technology transfer activities of the Federal agencies and their laboratories. In response to that request, we devised methods to acquire information about the implementation of the Act and about its impact.
Our data collection system was developed in conjunction with the staff of this subcommittee, with persons from some of the agencies and labs, and other experts in technology transfer. It consists of two questionnaires, one for the laboratories and one for the parent agencies, which provide information in four broad categories: technology transfer activities, agency and laboratory policies, budgets and background information about the labs.
One of the most difficult aspects of the instrument and development was the need to collect comparable information across the various agencies and labs. A problem with the previous information about Federal technology transfer had been the absence of uniform definitions and categories of data across the government.