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GAO Recommends Stepped-Up Guidance on Export Controls

May 13, 2020
 
 

A U.S. Government Accountability Office report released Tuesday recommends that the U.S. Departments of Commerce and State improve their guidance and outreach to universities in relation to export control regulations. The rules restrict the export of certain technologies and the sharing of those technologies with foreign nationals in the U.S., including international students and scholars.

“University and association officials raised concerns that State and Commerce guidance and outreach does not adequately address export compliance issues that are more common to universities than to industry, such as fundamental research -- i.e., research that is ordinarily published and not subject to export control regulations,” the GAO report states. "Without additional guidance and outreach that addresses such issues, universities may not have the information they need to adequately comply with these regulations and properly safeguard export-controlled items.”

The GAO found that seven of the nine universities it visited “have export compliance policies and practices that generally align with State's and Commerce's export compliance guidelines.” But the GAO also found gaps at some universities in four areas related to risk assessment, training, internal audits and export compliance manuals.

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