first_img“I could see it that way—knockout or submission,” Alvarez said Tuesday during the ONE: Dawn of Heroes press conference at City of Dreams Manila.Alvarez has no plans of going the full distance against Folayang especially when the fight is being staged in the Team Lakay star’s hometown.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsREAD: Top fighters face off ahead of ONE: Dawn of Heroes featuring Folayang-Alvarez View comments MOST READ “If I see that this is gonna become a close fight, I’m gonna take risks that I normally wouldn’t take,” he said.“I understand the terrain, I know where I’m at, it’s hostile territory and if this is to become a tit-for-tat, back-and-forth fight, I’m gonna take risks that the fans would enjoy.”Both Alvarez and Folayang are coming off first-round losses last March in ONE: A New Era in Tokyo, Japan.Alvarez lost to Timofey Nastyukhin, who hit him with a barrage of strikes, in his ONE debut while Folayang went to sleep after getting caught in a triangle choke in a title rematch against Shinya Aoki.ADVERTISEMENT PBA: Ginebra extends semis series, fends off TNT in Game 3 Steaming fissures on Taal Volcano Island spotted LOOK: LJ Reyes, Paolo Contis celebrate 1st birthday of baby Summer Duterte lambasts Catholic Church anew in curse-laden speech before Filipino Baptists MRT-3 files raps vs engineer who brought ammunition to station MANILA, Philippines—Anything can happen in a fight but Eddie Alvarez sees only two possible outcomes when he meets Eduard Folayang in their lightweight showdown Friday night.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Benefits of township living Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite PLAY LIST 02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award03:05Malakanyang bilib sa Phivolcs | Chona Yu01:26Homes destroyed after Taal Volcano eruption02:48ABS-CBN franchise has ‘natural deadline,’ no need for quo warranto — Gatchalian Sons Of Apollo releases new studio album ‘MMXX’ Vaccinated but still infected with polio? What happened? Duque explains LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

first_imgAG Report 2016 finds– hundreds of millions withdrawn despite not meeting legal criteriaBy Jarryl BryanThe Auditor General’s Report detailing the Government’s conduct of financial activities in 2016 documents a litany of breaches in regard to the Contingency Fund.Auditor General Deodat SharmaIt has been revealed that Government had made from the Contingency Fund withdrawals totalling in excess of $900 million; and those withdrawals do not comply with the Financial Management and Accountability (FMA) Act.In his report, Auditor General Deodat Sharma named the Public Infrastructure Ministry (MPI) as the main culprit.According to a statement of receipts and payments from the Contingency Fund, the MPI was responsible for withdrawals totalling more than $400 million.It was noted that two withdrawals were made on behalf of the MPI in order to make outstanding payments for works on the controversial D’Urban Park project: $256.7 million on July 14, 2016, and $150 million on April 25, 2016.The Ministry of Public Health (MPH) was also flagged for making a withdrawal of $63.5 million on July 21st in order to meet expenses for the controversial Sussex Street bond. Being rented from Linden Holding Incorporated at a monthly rental of $12.5 million, this bond has in fact been the subject of heated debates in the National Assembly.Public Infrastructure Minister David PattersonDuring the debate on the 2017 Budget, in December 2016, a parliamentary delegation accompanied by the media had visited the bond and found condoms, lubricants and some unused refrigerators in storage, but no pharmaceuticals and medical supplies.There have been repeated calls for the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) to investigate this bond rental, which is supposed to come to an end by this year end.The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) had also withdrawn from the Contingency Fund on May 23 a total sum of $248 million, much of it related to the army’s expenses in support of Guyana’s Republic and Independence anniversary observances last year.In one instance, $20 million were taken to offset expenses incurred in procuring maps, writing material and ink to “aid in the development of orders and other related documents in support of the 46th Republic and 50th Independence anniversary and Operation Dragnet.”A further $35 million were withdrawn to supplement money needed for the anniversary celebrations, and to service GDF vehicles for Operation Dragnet, a joint services’ intelligence- led operation which was carried out last year.The sum of $46 million was also withdrawn to service the GDF’s aircraft, which notably became unserviceable over time.According to the GDF in its response to this observation, “Our Y12 and Skyvan aircraft are unserviceable due to maintenance issues, thus there was an increase(d) need to hire aircraft to satisfy our routine and operational requirements.“Additionally, funding is therefore necessary for hiring our air, sea and land transportation in support of the 46th and 50th Independence anniversary celebrations and Operation Dragnet”.The sum of $30 million was withdrawn in order to launder uniforms, and to rent tents and other equipment for the celebrations.Some $54 million were also taken from the Contingency Fund and spent on the army’s role in the celebrations; in Operation Dragnet; to procure agricultural supplies; to sew uniforms; for medical care for ranks; and for “unforeseen funeral expenses not catered for in our estimates.”Some $41 million were withdrawn on behalf of the Region Six Regional Democratic Council (RDC), to maintain drainage and irrigation activities.The report does not record a response from the Ministry of Agriculture, which received $234.7 million on July 28 of last year.In his statement on the issue, Auditor General Sharma expressed disappointment that, for the period under review, nine advances were granted from the Contingency Fund to meet routine expenditure.While the Ministry of Finance has noted that it would comply with the law, the Auditor General has recommended that more stringent measures be adopted to ensure full compliance with Section 41 of the FMA Act.What the law saysAccording to Section 220 (1) of the Constitution of Guyana, “Parliament may make provision for the establishment of a Contingencies Fund and for authorising the Minister responsible for finance to make advances from that Fund if he is satisfied that there is an urgent need for expenditure for which no other provision exists.”Section 220 (2) stipulates that “Where any advance is made from the Contingencies Fund, a supplementary estimate shall, as soon as practicable, be laid before the National Assembly by the Prime Minister or any other Minister designated by the President for the purpose of authorising the replacement of the amount so advanced.”In addition, Section 41 (3) of the FMA Act states, “The Minister, when satisfied that an urgent, unavoidable and unforeseen need for expenditure has arisen – (a) for which no moneys have been appropriated or for which the sum appropriated is insufficient; (b) for which moneys cannot be reallocated as provided for under this Act; or (c) which cannot be deferred without injury to the public interest, may approve a Contingencies Fund advance as an expenditure out of the Consolidated Fund by the issuance of a drawing right.”last_img read more

first_imgBut once classes began, it became apparent this was no ordinary school – smaller classes meant students were comfortable raising their hands and talking to teachers, and staffers were friendly and helpful. It was then that Echavarria said she realized Frontier “wasn’t a disgrace or even an embarrassment. It was an opportunity for a second chance.” That second chance, fueled by counselors and parents who Echavarria said “kicked us in the rear end” whenever they slacked off, is what led to Friday’s ceremony, where about 50 students received their diplomas in front of hundreds of guests at First Family Church. “They’ve overcome many challenges on the way to this stage,” Principal Gabe Moorman told the audience. “They’ve changed from uncertain young men and women into the proud, confident graduates you see before you today.” Nearly a dozen graduates received scholarships ranging from $100-$150, while senior Jeanette Arrearan earned the school’s top Principal’s Award scholarship of $250. In her speech, Arrearan also had plenty of praise for Frontier staff and teachers. “Each student here has had troubled times when they needed guidance and motivation, and they received that at Frontier,” Arrearan said. “Please know that every single thing you put into us has not gone to waste. We, of all people, should know never to give up.” • Photo Gallery: Frontier High’s class of 2007 WHITTIER – As many of her fellow classmates sat and wondered what their futures might hold, Frontier High School graduating senior Andrea Echavarria couldn’t help but take a quick stroll down memory lane Friday during her speech at the school’s 36th annual commencement ceremony. Echavarria reminded parents about the time they found out that, for whatever reason, their children would be attending Frontier High, the continuation school for the Whittier Union High School District. “Students were thinking, `We really messed up big time,’ and \ didn’t look too happy,” Echavarria said. “And all the stereotypes about Frontier didn’t help either, \ were all delinquents anyway.” tracy.garcia@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

first_img England Women 1 England booked their place in the last 16 of the Women’s World Cup with a deserved 2-1 victory over Colombia in Montreal.First-half goals from Karen Carney and Fara Williams gave the Lionesses what proved to be an unassailable lead, despite a late consolation from Lady Andrade in stoppage time.As a result, Mark Sampson’s side qualified from Group F and set up a showdown with Norway in Ottawa on Monday.England settled the quicker and took just 15 minutes to take a richly-deserved lead, as Carney reacted the fastest to prod home her second strike of the tournament from Steph Houghton’s parried free-kick.The Lionesses had one penalty shout turned down before Carolina Arias’s blatant handball led to Williams dispatching England’s second unerringly from the spot.Colombia came back stronger after the break but took until injury time to reduce the arrears, as Andrade cleverly flicked in off the far post.England held on and, because of France’s thumping 5-0 win over Mexico in the other group fixture, will play the Norwegians courtesy of qualifying as runners-up in their group.last_img read more

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Admitting that any decision to close schools would be difficult, school board members in a study session Monday night said they must consider all options including school closures after losing millions of state dollars tied to per-pupil enrollment. From 2003-04 to the present school year, the district has lost 920 students, said Maureen Saul, assistant superintendent of business services. At $5,000 per student in funding provided by the state, that translates into a loss of $4.6 million in revenue, she said. ‘This is going to affect a lot of people teachers, students and parents,’ board member Ed Hengler said as officials weighed the school-closure option. ‘It’s something we need to consider very carefully.’ Closing Dulles and Huerta would save the district about $720,000 a year. But the move could trigger other expenditures, including transportation costs, adding additional classrooms at campuses near Dulles and Huerta, and closing enrollment to students from outside the district, officials said. For example, the district would incur a one-time cost of $180,000 for a new bus and to hire a driver to bus students. It would also need to spend $42,000 to lease additional classrooms at Gardenhill and La Pluma. Those two schools currently offer all-day kindergarten. But without more classroom space, the programs would have to revert to half-day sessions. In addition, Dulles would lose 46 students who come from outside the district. The district also would have to spend $600,000 to install temporary classrooms at Edmondson and Sanchez, where an additional $12,000 would need to be spent on more classrooms to allow it to continue all-day kindergarten classes. Saul attributed recent enrollment decreases to a declining birth rate and higher home prices, making it tough for new families with grammar school-aged children to move into the community. Nearly all of enrollment declines have been in the district’s elementary schools, Saul said. Those campuses have lost 844 students in the last two years; 1,966 students since 2001-02. No final decisions were made Monday. Instead officials decided to wait until the board’s Feb. 6 meeting to decide. They can close both Dulles and Huerta, or close one school in the fall and another the following year. Or they could opt to keep both schools open. Whatever the outcome, McCuistion said the school would abide by the board’s decision. ‘Whatever the decision is, we need to help people through it,’ she said. mike.sprague@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NORWALK – Faced with declining enrollment that has cost the district millions in state funds in recent years, Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District officials are considering closing two of their smallest campuses. Dulles Elementary School in La Mirada, which his 386 students, and Huerta Elementary in Norwalk, with 360 students, would be closed next fall, shifting students to nearby schools. Dulles students would be transferred to Foster Road, Gardenhill and La Pluma elementary schools. Huerta students would go to Edmondson and Sanchez schools. There are bound to be strong feelings should the school close, Dulles Principal Mary Ann McCuistion said Tuesday, adding that parents and teachers at the school were just learning about the proposal. ‘This school is very community-oriented,’ she said. ‘People have a feeling for all of the elementary schools.’last_img read more

first_imgBeing a manager is a tough job, but being a great one is even tougher. Just consider the array of knowledge and skills it takes to deal with a variety of people, tasks and business needs. Authors James Manktelow and Julian Birkinshaw say that, ideally, managers should know between 90 and 120 individual skills. Manktelow, founder and CEO of MindTools.com, and Birkinshaw, deputy dean for programs at London Business School, surveyed 15,242 managers worldwide to identify the most critical competencies, which are highlighted in their book Mind Tools for Managers: 100 Ways to Be a Better Boss (Wiley, 2018).Here are the highest-ranked skills, according to their survey:1. Building good working relationships with people at all levels. Recommended by 79.9% of managers surveyed. The most important management skill, the survey found, is the ability to build good relationships with people at all levels. For example, an approach to relationship building described in the book focuses on creating “high-quality connections” through respectful engagement.2. Prioritizing tasks effectively for yourself and your team. Recommended by 79.5% of managers surveyed. “All of us have a huge number of things that we want to do or have to do,” Birkinshaw says. “The demands can often seem overwhelming, to us and the members of our team. This is why prioritization is the second most important management skill.” A particularly useful approach to this the book recommends is called the Action Priority Matrix.3. Considering many factors in decision-making. Recommended by 77.8% of managers surveyed. We’ve all seen how bad decisions can be when they’re rushed or when financial concerns are the only criteria used. This is why it pays to use a formal, structured process to think a problem through thoroughly, including analyzing risk and exploring ethical considerations. The ORAPAPA framework—which stands for Opportunities, Risks, Alternatives and Improvements, Past Experience, Analysis, People, and Alignment and Ethics—is a good example.4. Knowing the key principles of good communication. Recommended by 77.7% of managers surveyed. “Management is about getting things done by working with people,” Manktelow says. You can do this only if you communicate effectively. This is where the 7 C’s of Communication—clear, concise, concrete, correct, coherent, complete, courteous—can help you get your message through more clearly.5. Understanding the needs of different stakeholders and communicating with them appropriately. Recommended by 75.8% of managers surveyed. As you spearhead bigger projects, it becomes increasingly important to manage the many different groups of people who can support or undermine the work you do. This is where it’s important to develop good stakeholder analysis and stakeholder management skills.6. Bringing people together to solve problems. Recommended by 75.0% of managers surveyed. “It’s often tempting to try to solve problems on your own,” Birkinshaw says. “But there are very many reasons why it pays to bring together a team of experienced people.” Gathering people for brainstorming sessions is a good start, but it also pays to understand structured problem-solving processes, know how to facilitate meetings well and be skilled in managing group dynamics.7. Developing new ideas to solve customers’ problems. Recommended by 74.4% of managers surveyed. A vast number of products and services now sell based on customer ratings and reviews. To get top reviews, you need to provide something that meets the needs of customers exceptionally well. Approaches like design thinking and ethnographic research can help you develop highly satisfying products, and customer experience mapping can help you deliver a satisfying customer journey.8. Cultivating relationships with customers. Recommended by 73.6% of managers surveyed. “The way you do this depends on whether you serve consumer or business markets,” Manktelow says. “When you’re dealing with consumers, you’ll get great insights into customer groups by segmenting your market and by developing customer personas representing these different segments.”9. Building trust within your team. Recommended by 73.3% of managers surveyed. When people don’t trust one another in a team, they waste a huge amount of time politicking. By contrast, people in trusting teams work efficiently and well, and they can deliver wonderful results. To build trust, you need to lead by example, communicate honestly and openly, get to know individuals as people, avoid blame, and discourage behaviors that breach trust.10. Using emotional intelligence. Recommended by 72.1% of managers surveyed. “All managers need emotional intelligence to be effective,” Birkinshaw says. “This means having the self-awareness, self-control, motivation, empathy and social skills needed to behave in a mature, wise, empathetic way with the people around you. Emotionally intelligent managers are a joy to work with, which is why they attract and retain the best people.””Even if you already feel like you have some of these skills, know that there is always more to learn, and the results will show in your improved leadership,” Manktelow says. “Practice them until they become effortless, and, in time, not only will you perform better, you’ll get better results from your team and stand out as a talented leader within your organization.”Desda Moss is managing editor of HR Magazine.Originally published on the SHRM Book blog.last_img read more

first_imgRelated Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market bernard lunn With this interview, we are again branching out. Naval Ravikant is not a traditional VC. He is an angel investor, a serial entrepreneur, and he writes the very entertaining and informative Venture Hacks blog, a must-read for entrepreneurs. Listen to the MP3 below if you want to learn more about how to get viral growth, how to think about native revenue models for social media, and why hackers are making serious money with virtual currencies.Listen to the InterviewDownload the MP3.Our Questions and MP3 GuideQuestion: You are focused on social media. One of the big issues with social media is getting a “native revenue model.” What is the equivalent of paid search for social media?Skip to 1:30 of MP3Insight summary: “If you don’t find it early on, it probably does not exist. There is probably not some magic native revenue model lurking out there.” But skip to 3:30 to hear about one sub-segment, virtual currencies. Fascinating stuff.Question: Everybody is looking for viral growth, which seems like the closest thing to free money. What characteristics do you look for in a service to indicate whether it will go viral?Skip to 6:15 of MP3Insight summary: Your service needs to be “inherently viral” (basically, messaging services). You cannot tack virality onto a service. This is now increasingly a science, with viral analytics used to back decision-making.Question: Are you focused only on ventures in Silicon Valley? Or would you look at deals from elsewhere?Skip to 9:10 of MP3Insight summary: Theoretically, anywhere. In practice, almost entirely in the Valley.Question: What market segments excite you today?Skip to 10:14 of MP3Insight summary: Naval quoted Paul Bucheit (the guy who wrote Gmail and FriendFeed) in saying that he was excited by any venture that can be described as “[blank] that does not suck.” That means you can choose any market that has a lot of existing players, a mature market, but in which nobody is doing it right yet. You could describe Gmail that way: “webmail that does not suck”. When Google first did search, the market was very mature, but the offerings at the time still sucked. Naval mentioned travel booking; loads of attempts there, but ask anyone who uses them a lot, and they’ll say they mostly suck. These ventures are conceptually totally simple, but execution is tough.Question: How does the 10 times reduction in cost to start a Web tech venture change the rules for VCs and angels?Skip to 11:50 of MP3Insight summary: This enables “super-developer lifestyle businesses” that never need to raise any money. It also means that all investors shift over, so that the earliest-stage guys now need to see a working service, even some traction; the Series A VCs need to see huge growth or revenue expansion; and the traditional late-stage VCs have basically exited the Web tech business.Most Interesting TakeawayNaval talked about virtual currencies as a real revenue model within social media. I had heard this before but was skeptical. Who would spend cold hard cash online in exchange for nothing but a virtual currency that cannot be converted back into cash in the real world? It sounds basically like people are spending real money online to impress other people online, which is no less odd than spending money on a fancy watch or car to impress people.Self-financed hackers are making millions of dollars with virtual currency services today.Naval’s Tools for Other Early-Stage DevelopersThese are the services that Naval thought would be of most interest to entrepreneurs and early-stage developers who frequent ReadWriteWeb:Feedjit: real-time analytics for blogs.Kontagent: viral marketing analytics.Chatterous: multi-modal (email, SMS, IM) chat API.Jambool: payments and virtual currencies for games and social applications.Gambit: offers and monetization for social applications.Listen to the InterviewDownload the MP3. Tags:#A-team#Interviews#start center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

first_imgThanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. For those who know me, that comes as no surprise. My devotion to food and to cooking all day is well documented; after all, #nevernoteating is one of my most used hashtags.One of the things I love so much about this holiday, as someone who doesn’t live near family and gets to celebrate it with friends and acquaintances, is the chance to give in to pure revelry, conversation, and surprise. You never know who may end up needing a seat at the table, and there is always room for at least one more.As I thought about what I’m thankful for this year, and what I’d like to celebrate, one thing stuck out starkly in my mind. When I walk out my door, I don’t need to walk more than five minutes to reach foods from all across the globe. There’s a Brazilian place across the street (The Grill from Ipanema, don’t you love that name?!), Afghan next door, French and Japanese down the block, Korean and Nepali, and Argentine, and Middle Eastern, and Ghanaian and Ethiopian just a few steps further. The richness of cuisine options open to me speaks to the richness of America’s culture. Every one of us at some point in our ancestry came from somewhere else. Our families brought their culture, their heritage, and yes, their food, with them, and there was plenty of room at America’s proverbial table for all of it. In fact, we wouldn’t be the same if anyone were missing.So that’s what I’d like to celebrate this Thanksgiving, to remember that there is always room at the table, and to be grateful for the many many cultures woven into America’s fabric that have helped make this country, and the promise it offers to so many, great.Cheers!The MenuAppetizers:This portion will likely stay pretty European with a marinated feta dish, olive tapenades from Greece, and a big platter of French cheeses; after all, you’ll need something to graze on as you cook and mingle throughout the day!The Main:While not traditional in the least, I’ve decided a big, gorgeous Korean Bo Ssam would be the perfect centerpiece to our global meal. If you haven’t made one before, I strongly encourage you to go for it; it’s one of the simplest, most impressive dishes. It quite literally just sits in the oven for 6 hours and comes out crackly, juicy and delicious.The Sides: (really where all the fun happens)Nuoc cham — This is an amazing sounding Vietnamese condiment I think will taste great with everything on the table.Ottolenghi baked minty rice with pomegranate — This will taste great with the pork, as well as the lamb my friend is bringing. Plus the pomegranate will remind us of cranberry sauce.I’m debating between garlicky green beans from Samin Nosrat’s Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat or sticking to tradition a bit and making this stove top green bean casserole. What do you think?Samin Nosrat’s butternut squash and brussel sprouts in agodolceBecause what is Thanksgiving without potatoes?Seedy spelt parker house rollsDessert:Tradition is a bit harder to buck in this categoryMy husband is Puerto Rican, and we make tembleque for almost every holiday. After all the flavors in the main meal, this will be a nice rest for the palate.I’ll also be making a caramelized nut honey tart. You’ll never be satisfied with a simple pecan pie again.Beverages:This is subject to change, but I’ll be embracing my Italian roots with white negronis and Italian wine. We’ll likely mix up some old-fashioneds as well.Now that I’ve seen this all written out…that’s a lot of food for just 5 people! I’ve got room, who wants to come over for dinner?last_img read more

first_imgWhile at Symantec Vision, we had a chance to video-tape Sean Waddell, a Product Manager at Symantec, demonstrating a preview of hardware-based KVM Remote Control from a Symantec Altiris Client Management Suite to a laptop PC based on the 2010 Intel Core i5 vPro processor.  With the ability for IT to now see what the user sees through all states, even when the Operating System “blue or black screens”, is starting-up or shutting down, IT can now solve problems that many times previously required a deskside visit in the past.  One example is when the network adaptor is disabled in the Operating System.  Now IT can use a hardware-based KVM Remote Control communication channel from the Symantec management console, and remotely connect to and repair the PC based on 2010 Intel Core vPro processors, even when the user disables the network adaptor in the Operating System.Watch the video below to learn more about the power of 2010 Intel Core vPro processors with KVM Remote Control.last_img read more

first_img Senate panel delays good-government bill, scolds HHS for ‘moving the goal posts’ Senator Rob Portman (R–OH) hopes to strike a compromise on new rules for government advisory panels. A Senate panel delayed action today on a bipartisan bill to improve government transparency among advisory bodies in deference to concerns from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that the legislation would seriously disrupt the agency’s ability to review research proposals. At the same time, the bill’s Republican sponsor in the Senate chastised NIH’s parent body for “moving the goal posts” after legislators believed they had struck a compromise last fall to address NIH’s concerns about the bill’s impact on its 173 study sections.“I’m not someone who likes to publicly admonish agencies, unless it’s warranted,” said Senator Rob Portman (R–OH), referring to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). “But we did work with them, and I thought we had reached a compromise. And then they moved the goal posts.”Without debate, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) unanimously approved 15 bills and four nominees to senior positions at agencies it oversees during a 20-minute business meeting this morning. But its chairman, Senator Ron Johnson (R–WI) postponed action on the transparency bill, H.R. 1608, after Portman said committee members needed more time to examine its provisions.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) By Jeffrey MervisMay. 15, 2019 , 5:20 PMcenter_img Joshua Morrison/The News via AP The bill, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously in March, is aimed at strengthening the 47-year-old Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). FACA sets rules for appointing members to the thousands of panels advising the U.S. government and governs how they operate, with open meetings the default mode. Good-government watchdog groups have long complained that some agencies have circumvented the rules in hopes of ginning up more favorable advice by appointing members that represent special interests or who have shown a clear bias.Cautious supportFACA applies to all federal research agencies, and the bill would put into statute what are now executive branch rules on how it should be implemented. One key change would require NIH to designate study section members as special government employees. The National Science Foundation already does that, with little disruption to its merit review system. But NIH officials say the change—they are now classified as consultants—would add months to the appointment process, generate massive amounts of additional paperwork, and discourage scientists from volunteering to serve.Senators on the HSGAC panel were clearly torn between their support for greater transparency and their fear of jeopardizing the government’s investment in biomedical research.“I would be happy to vote to move [H.R. 1608] forward so that it can be reviewed on the floor before we take a vote,” said Senator Mitt Romney (R–UT), noting that NIH had shared its concerns with him. “And while I’m willing to vote for it at this stage, I reserve the right to vote no if further analysis suggests that we need to make further adjustments to get the support of NIH so that it doesn’t impose too substantial a burden on our health and technology investments.”Last-minute objectionsH.R. 1608 is the latest version of legislation that Representative William Lacy Clay (D–MO) first introduced in 2008. It has passed the House three times—twice while Republicans were the majority party—but it was only last year that HSGAC also embraced it. That step set off alarm bells at NIH and HHS, which led to negotiations last fall with both House and Senate members.Supporters say they tweaked the bill to exempt NIH study sections and address other HHS concerns. But last month, HHS wrote to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–KY) saying the changes haven’t solved the problem. Specifically, HHS said the fix only applied to when NIH study sections meet, not how their members are appointed or the rules governing their operations. It suggested exempting all study sections covered by the Public Health Service Act that governs NIH’s behavior.Legislators are dumbfounded by HHS’s interpretation. “At the eleventh hour HHS raised some additional concerns,” Portman says. Going forward, he adds, “We hope the standard of reasonableness will apply.”At the same time, supporters of the legislation say HHS’s proposed fix is a nonstarter because it would also apply to regulatory agencies like the Food and Drug Administration, where potential conflicts of interest among advisory committee members are rife.With no markup looming, both sides are hoping to resume negotiations in the next few weeks. The goal is to find a way to address NIH’s concerns and still close existing loopholes in FACA.“So we’ll go back and work with them again,” Portman says. “We want to make sure that NIH can continue to carry out its job of reviewing grant proposals. But we believe that transparency in advisory committees is very important, too.”last_img read more