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We can no longer "make do” with home grown technology entrepreneurs. It is clear that we are beginning to lag behind in providing analytic support for information and technology policy issues and in integrating information technology efficiencies and capacities into our work.

We are falling short in assisting you in critical new subject areas; in working with you in an integrated, secure, and robust technology-based environment that allows us to provide you with the analysis and information you need, where and when you need it; and in providing the technical tools that our researchers need – not “bells and whistles” but essential “nuts and bolts”-- to perform their work for the Congress. We must take action now or we will fall even further behind. That is what this budget request is all about. Our current resources are not enough to meet the new and increasing demands of policy making. We can no longer adjust our work environment to meet congressional needs. We must overhaul what we do and how we do it.

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Budget Request Our fiscal 2002 request is $81.1 million; this is an increase of $7.71 million over fiscal 2001. Approximately $4.22 million of this increase is needed to maintain our current services by funding mandatory cost-of-living and other pay and inflation increases on current operations. The balance, $3.49 million, is needed to (1) acquire capacity to better analyze complex information and technology policy issues and (2) equip ourselves with the leadership and technical staff, skills and tools necessary to address serious and significant gaps in the capacity to analyze complex technology policy issues, to conduct collaborative research, and to apply technology to work and communication

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Expert Staff CRS does not have adequate staff expertise to provide high-level analysis on sophisticated information and technology policy issues. Nor can we “home-grow” this expertise. Policy areas such as cyber terrorism requires significantly different spheres of understanding than are needed for dealing with most traditional forms of terrorism. Privacy issues and potential solutions in a marketdrive, internet setting are radically different than issues surrounding government information as addressed in the Privacy Act of 1974 and the Freedom of Information Act.

We are asking for $580,000 to hire the five senior analysts who will provide high level

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expertise and Service-wide leadership on technology policy issues and implications as they affect various legal areas (such as privacy, fraud, intellectual property), government information policy, national security, telecommunications technologies, and economic issues of the technology and information industries. These resources will enable CRS to provide the Congress with a core of high level experts who will: lead and coordinate the Service's work on information and technology policy issues across disciplines; guide and mentor other CRS research staff at various grade levels, thereby building additional capacity in these critical research areas; create and lead Service-wide teams to address key congressional concerns; and develop innovative products and services to inform the Congress about information and technology policy issues.

Equipping the CRS Research Environment to Align with How the Congress Works

If CRS is to continue to be an extension of congressional staff and the best public policy research organization that Congress needs and deserves, then we must acquire the high-level technical leadership and skills we require to enable us to build and maintain a secure and adaptable technology-based research environment. Such an environment is the critical underpinning of all of Our research activities supporting Congress-it provides the blueprint for how all of CRS's systems, knowledge, and information can be shared, preserved, delivered, and made available to the Congress.

We are also requesting 12 FTEs and $2.9 million in FY 2002 to begin equipping ourselves with the leadership and technical staff, skills, and tools we need to effectively and pro-actively use technology to support Congress as its working environment continues to accommodate technological change. The information technology investment that we are requesting you to support will enable CRS to make significant progress in improving interactive communications with Congress and your access to us and to our products as well as in transforming our research work to 21" century methods.

More specifically, the funds requested will be used to: improve protection of confidential congressional information; provide secure access to CRS for district offices; support the delivery of innovative interactive products and services through the CRS web site; move innovative electronic research products (e.g., electronic briefing books, e-coverage of current legislative issues) from pilot products into full-fledged products. This request will also support implementing on-line document creation and editing to facilitate team research projects such as the Electronic Briefing Books and

We can no longer "make do" with home grown technology entrepreneurs. It is clear that we are beginning to lag behind in providing analytic support for information and technology policy issues and in integrating information technology efficiencies and capacities into our work.

We are falling short in assisting you in critical new subject areas; in working with you in an integrated, secure, and robust technology-based environment that allows us to provide you with the analysis and information you need, where and when you need it; and in providing the technical tools that our researchers need – not “bells and whistles” but essential “nuts and bolts"-- to perform their work for the Congress. We must take action now or we will fall even further behind. That is what this budget request is all about. Our current resources are not enough to meet the new and increasing demands of policy making. We can no longer adjust our work environment to meet congressional

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needs. We must overhaul what we do and how we do it.

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Budget Request Our fiscal 2002 request is $81.1 million; this is an increase of $7.71 million over fiscal 2001. Approximately $4.22 million of this increase is needed to maintain our current services by funding mandatory cost-of-living and other pay and inflation increases on current operations. The balance, $3.49 million, is needed to (1) acquire capacity to better analyze complex information and technology policy issues and (2) equip ourselves with the leadership and technical staff, skills and tools necessary to address serious and significant gaps in the capacity to analyze complex technology policy issues, to conduct collaborative research, and to apply technology to work and communication

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Expert Staff

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CRS does not have adequate staff expertise to provide high-level analysis on sophisticated information and technology policy issues. Nor can we "home-grow" this expertise. Policy areas such as cyber terrorism requires significantly different spheres of understanding than are needed for dealing with most traditional forms of terrorism. Privacy issues and potential solutions in a marketdrive, internet setting are radically different than issues surrounding government information as addressed in the Privacy Act of 1974 and the. Freedom of Information Act.

We are asking for $580,000 to hire the five senior analysts who will provide high level

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products

expertise and Service-wide leadership on technology policy issues and implications as they affect various legal areas (such as privacy, fraud, intellectual property), government information policy, national security, telecommunications technologies, and economic issues of the technology and information industries. These resources will enable CRS to provide the Congress with a core of high level experts who will: lead and coordinate the Service's work on information and technology policy issues across disciplines, guide and mentor other CRS research staff at various grade levels, thereby building additional capacity in these critical research areas; create and lead Service-wide teams to address key congressional concerns; and develop innovative products and services to inform the Congress about information and technology policy issues.

Equipping the CRS Research Environment to Align with How the Congress Works

If CRS is to continue to be an extension of congressional staff and the best public policy research organization that Congress needs and deserves, then we must acquire the high-level technical leadership and skills we require to enable us to build and maintain a secure and adaptable technology-based research environment. Such an environment is the critical underpinning of all of our research activities supporting Congress-it provides the blueprint for how all of CRS's systems, knowledge, and information can be shared, preserved, delivered, and made available to the Congress.

We are also requesting 12 FTEs and $2.9 million in FY 2002 to begin equipping ourselves with the leadership and technical staff, skills, and tools we need to effectively and pro-actively use technology to support Congress as its working environment continues to accommodate technological change. The information technology investment that we are requesting you to support will enable CRS to make significant progress in improving interactive communications with Congress and your access to us and to our products as well as in transforming our research work to 21" century methods.

More specifically, the funds requested will be used to: improve protection of confidential congressional information; provide secure access to CRS for district offices; support the delivery of innovative interactive products and services through the CRS web site; move innovative electronic research products (e.g., electronic briefing books, e-coverage of current legislative issues) from pilot products into full-fledged products. This request will also support implementing on-line document creation and editing to facilitate team research projects such as the Electronic Briefing Books and

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our new Legislative Issues Service on the CRS web site; laying a foundation for managing CRS electronic data and information for as long as needed; developing new multi-user quantitative databases, and modifying and documenting existing databases that are at-risk due to inadequate documentation; and expanding our capacity for critically-needed electronic storage.

Our current technical staff are not sufficient in number and do not have the requisite skills to undertake the kind of technology transformation needed. CRS must invest in hiring staff with the expertise to lead our efforts to implement the processes and technologies needed to ensure our accessibility to the Congress and to guarantee the reliability, accuracy, and timeliness of our services and products.

Conclusion In summary, this request does not propose funding tactical change; rather, it supports the strategic, mission-critical change necessary for CRS to continue fulfilling its statutory mandate as the key non-partisan public policy research arm for Congress in the digital environment. It is not about coping with the future, it is about confronting the future that is already here and threatens to leave us in its wake. As the Congress is placing new and increasing reliance on information technologies so too must CRS. We at CRS have always aligned our work directly with your work-this is our mission; this is our mandate. To continue the strong tradition of service and reliability, CRS needs your help now. Again, I appreciate the opportunity to discuss CRS's future with you. We at CRS stand ready to assist you as you consider this request and the consequences and challenges it poses for the Service and the Congress.

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