Let us assume you have secured a hefty funding to do some exciting research. The problem is, the funding is about to end, you have done that hard part already and are interested in a follow-up, but it would be a project much smaller in scope - maybe you have created a compound or an apparatus previously and now what is left is putting it to work. And that creates a conflict of interest.
For researchers, the gains from the continuation are obvious and plentiful: your own creation is viewed as an asset, and it would be absurd to not reap the fruits of your own labor. Building the LHC or Webb's and then letting it collect dust would be unthinkable, but for some reason it still happens with smaller projects.
That is because for (a given) administration, the old project is just a liability at this point, given they have gotten their chunk of the funding pie. They want to do a bare minimum to wrap it up and, simply put, only care about financially large projects where they get their cut for moving papers from one side of their desk to another. In this extreme case the proposed follow-up is not just low value, it is seemingly perceived as negative value - they would not only have to work for relatively cheap, their "managerial success" which is already almost at hand now goes back under further scrutiny. Thus, the administration tries to shut the proposal down by action or inaction.
Are there any reasonable strategies for gaining leverage while being a researcher in that scenario? More broadly, what are the instruments one employs to have a measure of control over their own research/lab so to not get involved in what is, well, corruption and still grease the wheels of the bureaucratic machine to get it going? Even the trivial "scientific output is still - at the end of the day - funding" seems to imply getting someone on your side - who would that be?
This is fairly similar to a question about a PhD and their ex-head of the lab, but plays out at another level, which is why I feel it warrants a separate one.
For context: this is not an immediate concern of mine, but I have seen a fair share of this kind of dynamics in play. The situation in here (Russia) is infamously bad, but I also believe similar things happen elsewhere as well. If that is heavily region-specific, I would be interested in learning about offices and facilities getting involved regardless.