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  • Washington Highlights

    Education Department Withdraws Sec. 117 Foreign Gift Information Collection Request


    Brett Roude, Legislative Analyst

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a Feb. 4 Notice of OMB Action stating that it, along with the Department of Education, has decided to withdraw a request to expand institutional disclosure reporting for certain foreign gifts and contracts.

    The OMB said that the two agencies have determined that the “best course of action” is to withdraw the department’s emergency information collection request (ICR), which would have expanded disclosure reporting under Section 117 of the Higher Education Act.

    According to the notice, the department will resubmit the request as a standard nonemergency ICR “in short order.” In addition, the department agreed to pursue rulemaking to address its desire to collect “true copies” of contracts from covered institutions.

    In late 2019, the department requested emergency processing of the new ICR with the OMB with the goal of publishing a final rule by Jan. 1, 2020, in order to meet the statutory deadline for institutions to report disclosures by Jan. 31, 2020. The AAMC previously joined the higher education community in urging the OMB to reject the department’s emergency information request [see Washington Highlights, Dec. 19, 2019].