Secrecy News

Pentagon Basic Research Said to Need “More Transparency”

The Department of Defense basic research program has many strengths as well as some serious weaknesses, according to a new report (large pdf) from the Defense Science Board (DSB), but it needs to open up and to improve its information management practices.

“As is true for most programs in the DoD,… less bureaucracy and more transparency would be welcome improvements,” the DSB study said.

Current DoD information practices are not even responsive to internal agency needs, let alone requests from outsiders, the DSB found.

“A significant handicap for conducting the [DSB] study was the difficulty of getting data on the DOD basic research program.  What should have been easily retrievable data required huge time-consuming, labor-intensive efforts to collect and assemble due to the lack of a modern management information system that would enable answering questions posed by DOD leadership.”

“It is difficult to have management without management information,” the DSB report said.  See Report of the DSB Task Force on Basic Research, January 2012.