As a budget increase for research for the NIH is considered, a scientist working there says he is paid $100,000 a year to do virtually no work.

WASHINGTON- Amidst continuing clamor in Congress that science-based research and development grants should be increased, a recent Washington Post article reveals that perhaps more oversight is needed in how the money those agencies receive is spent.

On Monday, July 7th 2003, The Post featured an article about a National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientist who said he was paid to do nothing. Edward McSweegan, a health scientist administrator is paid an annual salary of $100,00 and says he has not done any work for the last seven years. After having been removed from his previous position after a dispute, there seems to be indications that he was being overcompensated for the fact that he was not given \’real work.\’

McSweegan said his projects included making coffee and forwarding messages, work an unpaid intern would do. During his working day he says he has self-published novels and is working on a third book and he also reads and excercises in an attempt to fill his eight hour day.

"Politicians always clamor \’More money for R&D! More money for R&D!\’" said taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, who heads Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). "But the McSweegan case shows that all federal grants, subsidies and programs are in dire need of more oversight."

The Senate Finance Committee has continually supported budget increases for the NIH, but cost-cutting is needed as money is being misspent through lack of management of the agency. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the committee, was appalled at the administrator being paid to do nothing and agreed that it was necessary to get as much research as possible from the funding of the agency.

"The federal government is seven-headed dragon that loves the taste of even the most innocent pork," continued Norquist. "Before we continue to fund lavishly noble ideas like scientific research, taxpayers deserve the benefits of oversight to ensure that shenanigans like this don\’t happen again."