P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 3, 2013
AUSTIN — The Texas Senate today unanimously approved SB 149 authored by Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, strengthening oversight at the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). The bill now moves to the House of Representatives.
"The provisions in SB 149 will make absolutely certain that the lapses in judgment that have occurred at this institute will never happen again. It establishes an iron-clad system of checks and balances that will make it impossible for the institute to operate without 100% transparency and accountability," said Senator Nelson. "Most importantly, it will allow us to move forward with our 10-year commitment to finding cures and treatments for this terrible disease."
- Restructures CPRIT leadership;
- Establishes a Compliance Program and Compliance Officer to ensure all rules and laws are followed;
- Establishes a Program Integration Committee to create grant slates based on the recommendations of peer reviewers;
- Prohibits CPRIT employees, Oversight Committee members, and Program Integration Committee members from having business relationships with grantees;
- Prohibits CPRIT employees, Oversight Committee members, and Program Integration Committee members from serving on the governing board of an entity receiving a grant;
- Prohibits individuals or entities who make donations to CPRIT or the CPRIT Foundation from receiving grants;
- Directs the CPRIT Foundation to publicly report its financial information;
- Strengthens oversight of advance payments, matching funds and honorarium;
- Removes the Comptroller and Attorney General as members of the Oversight Committee; and
- Requires grantees to repay their funding plus interest to CPRIT if they are out of compliance with the terms of their contract and fail to complete a remediation plan.
Since its creation in 2007, CPRIT has recruited 44 outstanding researchers to Texas from world-renowned institutions, screened 184,000 Texans for cancer -- including 38,000 people who were screened for the first time -- and enabled a biotech firm to create an experimental drug combination which can suppress tumor growth that is now on its way to the FDA for approval.
The Senate also passed SB 150 which would allow CPRIT to use royalties, license fees, investment interest, gifts and grants collected by CPRIT to pay for debt service on CPRIT bonds.