Federal grant recipient used funds for parties, alcohol, lobbying

NEONFrom Press Release


In September 2014, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) wrote to the National Science Foundation and the National Ecological Observatory Network, a federal grant recipient, to express concern over NEON’s spending of federal funds on parties, alcohol and lobbying and the National Science Foundation’s apparent sanction of that spending.

Grassley pressed the Office of Management and Budget to follow up.   This week, OMB put out guidance telling agencies not to allow these kinds of expenses.  OMB also is requiring agencies to submit data to OMB by May 29 so OMB can assess whether the problems at NEON are more widespread.  Grassley made the following comment on OMB’s action.

“OMB’s action is needed to make sure federal grant money is spent appropriately.  The taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for alcohol, entertainment, lobbying or other expenses that aren’t allowed and have nothing to do with the job that is supposed to be performed.  OMB should continue to follow up to make sure this inappropriate spending is over, period.”