[Congressional Record: October 7, 2009 (House)] [Page H10810] CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 2647, NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2010 Conference Report (H. Rept. 111-288) [...] Elimination of report requirements regarding defense science and technology program (sec. 213) The Senate amendment contained a provision (sec. 217) that would modify report requirements related to the defense science and technology program. The House bill contained no similar provision. The House recedes with an amendment that would eliminate the reporting requirement that is the subject of the Senate provision. The conferees continue to support strong and stable investment in defense science and technology programs in order to support the development of advanced warfighting capabilities. The conferees note that the recent JASON report entitled ``S&T [Science and Technology] for National Security'' raised a number of critical concerns with respect to the Department of Defense's (DOD) basic research program. The JASONs observed that ``important aspects of the DOD basic research programs are broken''' and that ``throwing more money at the problems will not fix them.'' The study group further observed that ``basic research funding is not exploited to seed inventions and discoveries that can shape the future; investments tend to be technological expenditures at the margin'' and that ``the portfolio balance of DOD basic research is generally not critically reviewed by independent, technically knowledgeable individuals,'' adding that the Office of the Director of Defense Research and Engineering ``has too little time, staff, and authority to do this properly.'' Finally, the JASONs observed that ``civilian career paths in the DOD research labs and program management are not competitive to other opportunities in attracting outstanding young scientists and retaining the best people.'' The conferees note that the Secretary of Defense has called for significant increases in investments in basic research, and the conferees have supported that effort in this authorization act. However, given the significant concerns that a respected, independent review board have raised with the program, the conferees will carefully review how the DOD reacts to the JASON study and what steps it takes to address the issues raised in the study, before authorizing further increases in the basic research program.