The Pulitzer Prize Board said Friday it is reviewing charges by the National Journal magazine that the Philadelphia Inquirer did not deserve to win the 1988 prize for national reporting.

The unusual move was prompted by a letter from the Washington magazine alleging that the Inquirer's prize-winning story on the Pentagon's secret budget was not original, but based on a story that appeared in the Journal.

"Neither the subject nor its treatment can be considered groundbreaking in any sense of the word," wrote National Journal editor Richard Frank.

The newspaper vehemently denied the charges.