Remember, everybody, that HHS is refusing to comply with the FOIA requests from patients (which is why a lawsuit was filed in federal court to enforce rights under the FOIA)? Because of that, we don’t know for sure what the NIH/NAS umbrella contact provides for. However, it appears that there is some (although little) information about that contract at this link, which talks about a standing contract between the NIH and the National Academies of Science, “which allows funding of the Academy activities to support the NIH mission.” It would seem likely that the IOM “study” falls under this umbrella contract.
Now, here is what’s peculiar about this find. One of the identified required “steps to using the contract” is to “[r]esolve all questions about the scope … of the activity.” [emphasis added] This is where it gets really interesting: The listserv message from the IOM of December 26, 2013 informed us that one of the objectives of the afternoon session of the January 27th/28th, 2014 IOM meeting, which is open to the public, is to “clarify the scope of the charge.” [emphasis added] In other words, the scope of the IOM “study” is not clear yet, despite that being a requirement under the NIH/NAS umbrella contract.
[Edit April 7, 2014: HHS has deleted the information referenced above in an apparent attempt to cover up their failure to comply with the requirements of the umbrella contract. For a discussion and an image of the information previously found at the above link, please see my blog entry from today here.]
Because of HHS’s secrecy surrounding this “study” and it’s refusal to provide the pertinent documents in a timely manner, in violation of federal law, we can only speculate, but I question whether the IOM task order to develop new diagnostic criteria for “ME/CFS” follows the umbrella contract’s requirements and if it doesn’t, whether the task order is legally valid and, thus, whether the “study” was validly commissioned.
Regarding the lawsuit I filed last week and for people who have been wondering: No, I am not litigious. I have only brought one lawsuit in my life and that was against the State of Berlin, Germany. I won.