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Federal management of radiation research programs, adequacy of safety standards, excess medical uses of radiation, possible health consequences of nuclear weapons tests, and coordination among Federal agencies responsible for regulation of ionizing radiation and those supporting health research in this field.
In the interim, the President's Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island issued a report which enumerated a series of recommendations to expand radiation research and improve regulation of man-made radiation.
On February 21, 1980, the President directed the Secretary of HEW to establish an Interagency Radiation Research Committee. The President simultaneously directed relevant Federal departments and agencies to appoint members to the Interagency Committee and to offer full cooperation to the Secretary in meeting the responsibilities he identified. In particular, all agencies are instructed to consult with the Committee before making commitments to fund research into the biological effects of ionizing radiation. At the same time, the Committee is expected to establish uniform criteria for managing Federal research in this area following a review on this subject conducted by the National Academy of Sciences.
The Secretary of HHS will appoint the Chairperson of the Committee. There shall be representatives on the Committee from relevant departments and agencies with programs involving research on the biological effects of ionizing radiation or with regulatory authority in this area.
The following departments and agencies are to be represented on the Committee:
Consumer Product Safety Commission
To assist in the work of the Committee, standing and ad hoc subcommittees may be created. Outside consultants may be employed as necessary. The Chairperson of the Committee shall consult as necessary with other Federal agencies, State and local governments, and with interested groups in the
labor, industry, and with institutions of higher learning. In addition, the Committee may request the participation of other agencies as members or observers.
The Committee Chairperson shall report to the Secretary of HHS on the coordination of such aspects of Federal research and regulatory activities as relate to biological effects of ionizing radiation, and provide necessary information and assistance to regulatory and research agencies. These actions will strengthen the Federal research effort and provide coherence to the programs. Reports from the Committee will assist the Secretary in advising the President on these matters.
To accomplish the Presidential mandate, the Committee shall have the following responsibilities:
Coordinate the planning, implementation, and evaluation of Federal
• Coordinate research priorities, and assure by appropriate oversight
that research is conducted and funded by appropriate agencies under guidelines developed by the Committee;
Assure that the research needs of regulatory agencies are addressed on a timely basis;
Review agency budgets for radiation research; report to the Secretary of HHS for transmittal to the Office of Management and Budget and to the Office of Science and Technology Policy by September 15 of each year on the adequacy of support for such research and on the appropriateness of the allocation of research funds among the Federal agencies;
Facilitate timely dissemination of research results to scientists both within and outside the Federal Government;
Provide a point of contact on radiation research issues for persons outside the Federal Government and seek their advice, consultation, and participation in the work of the Committee; and
• Perform such other assignments consistent with this charter as the
President shall direct.
In carrying out these responsibilities, the Chairperson of the Committee shall consult regularly with the Chairperson of the Radiation Policy Council and with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
The report shall no later than Sport for the Secretan,
The Committee shall prepare a report for the Secretary of HHS to be transmitted to the President no later than January 31 of each year beginning in 1981. The report sha11 (1) describe the work of the Committee in coordinating Federal Government research with the needs of regulatory programs, and other activities that relate to research on the biological effects of ionizing radiation, and (2) enumerate the actions taken by the Committee to accomplish the Federal Government research agenda.
By December 31, 1980, the Chairperson of the Committee shall provide, in a separate report to the Secretary, HHS, for transmittal to the President and the Congress, recommendations for a government-wide research strategy that will (i) include an agenda with priorities based on the strategy, (2) identify the optimal agency for conducting each element of the strategy, and (3) estimate the requirements for personnel and funding among the several agencies entailed in meeting these research goals. In addition, the Chairperson shall establish a schedule for periodic meetings with the Radiation Policy Council to report on the activities of the Committee.
The Committee shall meet at the call of the Chairperson or be convened at the request of a member agency. Meetings shall be conducted, and records of the proceedings kept, as required by applicable laws and HHS regulations.
All members shall be full-time Federal employees. They will be allowed travel expenses plus per diem for subsistence while serving away from their duty stations in accordance with Federal standards governing travel.
Annual Cost Estimate
The estimated cost of operating the Committee, excluding staff support, is $2,000. The cost of annual staff support is estimated to be two person-years
at $40,000. The agency of the Chairperson will provide staff support for the Committee.
The Interagency Radiation Research Committee shall terminate four years from the date of establishment unless extended by Presidential directive.