President’s Advisory Group Finds Most Federal IT Funds Being Misused
Washington Post (12/16/10) Cecilia Kang
U.S. federal agencies are using only about 4 percent to 11 percent of the funds they receive for research and development (R&D) of information technology (IT) on advancing network communications within the agencies, according to a new report from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Instead, agencies have used the money for infrastructure, other research projects, and other technology.
The IT R&D funds are often used to advance research in the agency’s field. An agency involved with biomedical research, for instance, might use the money for large databases of protein sequences.
“They involve using today’s information technology to advance the forefront of other fields, not driving the forefront of networking and information technology,” says Ed Lazowska, a co-chair of the working group that developed the group’s report. More than 12 agencies receive about $4 billion each year for IT R&D.
The report says the government needs to account for such spending to keep the U.S. from falling behind other countries in IT research investment.