The University of North Texas Health Science Center must pay a settlement of more than $13 million to the federal government after its grant record-keeping system failed to adhere to criteria set by the National Institutes of Health, officials said Friday.
The Fort Worth medical school and research center self-reported errors in the way it calculated the time and effort researchers spent pursuing projects sponsored by the National Institutes of Health between January 2011 and February 2016, the U.S. attorney's office said in a news release.
Monitoring systems previously in place at UNTHSC failed to meet federal government criteria for accuracy, the news release said. UNT said in its own news release that it has since upgraded procedures, hired new staff and trained existing staff to make sure the institution complies with federal government rules.
Federal authorities said the previously flawed system caused false claims to be submitted, and a settlement agreement requiring the university to pay $13,073,000 was reached. The U.S. attorney's office said the health science center was "fully cooperative in the investigative and settlement process."
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The health science center discovered the errors in its reporting system in 2015, according to its news release.
“Integrity is one of our core values, and that means owning, correcting and learning from our mistakes,” UNT Health Science Center President Michael Williams said in a statement. “We’ve strengthened our internal controls to promote accountability and transparency.”