To ensure that funding is allocated as efficiently as possible, the NP program has developed a system of planning and priority setting that relies heavily on input from groups of outside experts. NP has also instituted a number of peer review and oversight measures designed to assess productivity and maintain effective communication and coordination among participants in NP activities. On an as-needed basis, the program has taken the initiative to establish working groups amongst federal agencies to tackle issues of common interest and enhance communication. The NP program takes all of this input into account in its budget requests, making decisions to maximize scientific impact, productivity, quality, and cost-effectiveness within the resources available.
The reports that are the product of peer panel reviews are sent to the groups under review, and they can distribute these reports at their discretion. NP policy, barring extraordinary circumstances beyond control, is to finalize the reports of laboratory research group reviews within four months after the panel review.