Kansas Bioscience Authority

An audit released recently alleges misdeeds by former Kansas Bioscience Authority head Tom Thornton. The KBA is one of the groups that worked to help Kansas land the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) project.

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Kansas Agriculture Secretary Dale Rodman blasted the Kansas Bioscience Authority today, saying the agency's board of directors hasn't fulfilled its duties. Rodman was selected by the governor to work with the company that recently audited the KBA. Rodman criticized the way the agency has been spending money.

A daily digest of headlines from KCUR.

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Governor Sam Brownback is withholding the payment of $22 million to the Kansas Bioscience Authority – that's about 2/3 of the agency's state funding.

New Kansas Bioscience Authority under construction in Olathe. Photo courtesy of KBA

The Kansas House voted unanimously last night to strip the troubled Kansas Bioscience Authority of bonding authority for the National Bio and Agro Defense Facility, or NBAF.

The vote gives the state Department of Administration charge over issuing $150 million dollars in bonds.

In a separate move, a provision added to a Senate bill requires the State Finance Department to approve any NBAF bonds.

The interim CEO of the troubled Kansas Bioscience Authority says the KBA will cooperate completely with the Governor's office in it's request for an independent audit. The Kan. legislature has been holding hearings in recent weeks.

The President's budget, which was made public yesterday, pegs $150 million for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility. That's the Level 4 laboratory designed to test highly contagious pathogens and foreign animal diseases operated by the Department of Homeland Security. DHS awarded the $650 million project to K-State a couple of years ago.

Officials told reporters in a teleconference yesterday they were happy with the budget proposal.

Two reports came out this week about the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, or NBAF.

The Department of Homeland Security released a risk assessment for the site, scheduled to begin construction in 2012 in Manhattan, Kan.

The National Academy of Sciences followed with a Congressionally mandated evaluation of that assessment.

Salina, KS – The Kansas Bioscience Authority has pledged more than $9 million over the next five years to bring five prominent cancer researchers to the University of Kansas Cancer Center.

The Kansas Bioscience Authority said at its annual meeting this week that the USDA will partner with Kansas to promote bioscience research.

The KBA says the partnership is a huge benefit to existing efforts to collaborate with local and state governments. The KBA also collaborates extensively with venture capital companies. The KBA has invested 50 million dollars in bioscience research, and has attracted a number of firms to the area who have promised to invest up to 200 million dollars.

A report from the Government Accountability Office questions how the Department of Homeland Security determined the safety of six sites for a proposed animal disease research lab. Manhattan, Kan., was selected as the site for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, or NBAF.

A draft report argues DHS used poor techniques to determine how diseases would spread if they were accidentally released.