[Congressional Record: October 7, 2009 (House)]
[Page H10810]

                            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 
       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.