The House and Senate have passed H.R. 3288, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010 and sent it to President Barack Obama for his signature. Under this bill, FY 2010 funding increases for the National Institute of Standards and Technology by $37.6 million or 4.6 percent over the FY 2009 appropriation.
A Joint Explanatory Statement provides the appropriators’ recommendations regarding NIST. Selections from this Statement in House Report 111-366 follow. The entire report can be read here (see last entry.)
Over-all National Institute of Standards and Technology:
FY 2009 appropriation: $819.0 million (does not include stimulus funding)
FY 2010 request: $846.1 million, an increase of $27.1 million or 3.3 percent
FY 2010 appropriation: $856.6 million, an increase of $37.6 million or 4.6 percent
Scientific and Technical Research and Services:
FY 2009 appropriation: $472.0 million (does not include stimulus funding)
FY 2010 request: $534.6 million, an increase of $62.6 million or 13.3 percent
FY 2010 appropriation: $515.0 million, an increase of $43.0 million or 9.1 percent
The report stated:
“The conference agreement provides $515,000,000 for NIST's scientific and technical core programs. Up to $9,000,000 may be transferred from the Scientific and Technical Research and Services (STRS) account to the Working Capital Fund, which NIST uses to purchase equipment for its laboratories.”
Funding for various STRS accounts is distributed as follows:
Laboratories and technical programs: $446,867,000
Congressionally-designated projects/activities: $10,500,000
Innovations in measurement science: $20,199,000
Next generation measurements training: $11,030,000
Baldrige National Quality Program: $9,627,000
Corporate Services: $16,777,000
The report continues:
“The conferees approve NIST's new budget structure consolidating all the functions of its laboratory research program under one budget activity. Any deviation from amounts specified in spend plans or reports for particular labs and technical programs, or the use of de-obligated funds shall be subject to reprogramming procedures set forth in sections 103 and 505 of this Act.
“Within available resources, the conference agreement fully funds the requested increase for a comprehensive national cyber security initiative. NIST is directed to expand its biodiversity storage capabilities and resources into the Pacific region through a Pacific Islands component and the conference agreement provides $750,000 for this purpose.
“The conference agreement includes funding within the amounts provided for Strategic Measurement Partnerships for the activities listed below: [seven congressionally-designated items]
“The conferees direct NIST to refrain from charging administrative costs to these grants and expect that the agency will provide appropriate management and oversight of each grant.”
Industrial Technology Services:
The FY 2009 appropriation: $175.0 million (does not include stimulus funding)
The FY 2010 request: $194.6 million, an increase of $19.6 million or 11.2 percent.
FY 2010 appropriation: $194.6 million, as requested
Technology Innovation Program: The bill provided the requested $69.9 million, an increase of $4.9 million or 7.5 percent.
Manufacturing Extension Partnership: The bill provides the requested $124.7 million, an increase of $14.7 million or 13.4 percent. The report states: “Within MEP, NIST and its partners are directed to consider the importance automation plays in accelerating and integrating manufacturing processes across all levels of industry.”
Construction of Research Facilities:
FY 2009 appropriation: $172.0 million
FY 2010 request: $116.9 million, a decline of $55.1 million or 32.0 percent
FY 2010 appropriation: $147.0 million, a decline of $25.0 million or 14.5 percent
The report states:
“The conference agreement provides $147,000,000, of which $20,000,000 shall be available for a competitive construction grant program and $80,000,000 for the highest priority construction and safety, capacity, maintenance, and major repair (SCMMR) projects at NIST. Within funding provided, the conferees encourage the agency to maintain an appropriate SCMMR funding level.
“Competitive construction grants- Within the appropriation, the conference agreement provides $20,000,000 for competitive construction grants for research science buildings in fiscal year 2010. The conferees note that in just the first year of the program, the fiscal year 2008 call for proposals yielded 93 requests, of which only three were funded due to limited appropriations. The conferees expect the Administration to include funding for this competitive program in future requests as these research science buildings leverage additional public and private funding, provide jobs, and improve science research in the Nation.
“The conferees direct NIST to provide quarterly reports on the status of all construction projects funded under this appropriation to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations.
“The conference agreement provides $47,000,000 for the activities listed below. [four congressionally-designated items]. The conferees direct NIST to refrain from charging administrative costs to these grants. The conferees expect that NIST will provide appropriate management and oversight of each grant.”