H.Rept. 104-406, National Defense Authorization At for Fiscal Year 1996

Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 1530

House of Representatives


The Senate amendment contained provisions with governmentwideacquisition and management issues related to informationtechnology. The House bill also contained provisions relating to bidprotest jurisdictions. The conferees considered all of these provisionsbefore agreeing to include Division E in the conference agreement.

The conferees agree that:

  • (1) federal information systems are critical to the lives of every American;
  • (2) the efficiency and effectiveness of the federal government is dependent upon the effective use of information;
  • (3) the federal government annually spends billions of dollars operating obsolete information systems;
  • (4) the use of obsolete information systems severely limits the quality of the services that the federal government provides, the efficiency of federal government operations, and the capabilities of the federal government to account for how taxpayer dollars are spent;
  • (5) the failure to modernize federal government information systems and the operations they support, despite efforts to do so, has resulted in the waste of billions of dollars that cannot be recovered;
  • (6) despite improvements achieved through implementation of the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990, most federal agencies cannot track the expenditures of Federal dollars and, thus, expose the taxpayers to billions of dollars in waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement;
  • (7) poor planning and program management and an overburdened acquisition process have resulted in the American taxpayers not getting their money’s worth from the expenditure of $200,000,000,000 on information systems during the decade preceding the enactment of this Act;
  • (8) the federal government’s investment control processes focus too late in the system lifecycle, lack sound capital planning, and pay inadequate attention to business process improvement, performance measurement, project milestones, or benchmarks against comparable organizations;
  • (9) many federal agencies lack adequate personnel with the basic skills necessary to effectively and efficiently use information technology and other information resources in support of agency programs and missions;
  • (10) federal regulations governing information technology acquisitions are outdated, focus on paperwork and process rather than results, and prevent the federal government from taking timely advantage of the rapid advances taking place in the competitive and fast changing global information technology industry;
  • (11) buying, leasing, or developing information systems should be a top priority for federal agency management because of the high potential for the systems to substantially improve Federal Government operations, including the delivery of services to the public; and,
  • (12) structural changes in the federal government, including elimination of the Brooks Act (section 111 of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended), are necessary in order to improve federal information management and to facilitate federal government acquisition of the state-of-the-art information technology that is critical for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of federal government operations.