Section 4(e) of NSPM-33 directs that “To strengthen the effectiveness of response measures, heads of agencies shall share information about violators… across Federal funding institutions and with Federal law enforcement agencies, the DHS, and State, to the extent that such sharing is consistent with privacy laws and other legal restrictions, and does not interfere with law enforcement or intelligence activities. Where appropriate and consistent with due process, privacy considerations, and all other applicable law, heads of agencies should consider providing notice to other Federal funding institutions in cases where significant concerns have arisen but a final determination has not yet been made.”
The objective of this section is to “provide clarity regarding circumstances when agencies may share information regarding violations and potential violations, and provide assurance regarding how such sharing will be limited to respect privacy and other legal and reasonable protections.”
What information collected by federal agencies will be used for
Research agencies should share information with other agencies prior to a final determination of a violation in the following circumstances, consistent with due process, privacy considerations, and all other applicable law:
- Where potentially relevant to other research agency management of Federal R&D funding. This includes indications of the example circumstances listed in Subsection 1 of this section.
- When referring to an appropriate law enforcement or other agency or entity for further investigation and/or consideration of enforcement or administrative action.
- In support of risk analysis/analytics to better understand scope and scale of research security challenges, particularly where agencies have taken steps to reduce the risk of re-identifying individuals, to the greatest extent practicable.
How it will be shared
Mechanisms for research agency sharing of information regarding violations related to research security and integrity include the following:
- Agencies use the System for Award Management website (SAM.gov) as the information sharing mechanism for government-wide exclusions (e.g. suspension or debarment), including voluntary exclusions, issued in response to violations.
- Agencies use the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) to notify other agencies regarding actions including, but not limited to: criminal, civil, and administrative proceedings in connection with Federal awards; administrative agreements issued in lieu of suspension or debarment; and award terminations for default, for cause, and for material failure to comply.
- Agencies may publish mandatory and agency-level exclusions in SAM.gov under the Prohibition/Restriction section, on the Federal Register, and/or agency websites.
- Whenever feasible, agencies should seek to publicly share information about results of risk analyses and administrative remedy and enforcement processes to maximize transparency and enhance public understanding of research security risks and the consequences of confirmed violations.