Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Congress and Deepwater: A marriage in heaven

Originally uploaded by Tidewater Muse.
Compliments of our friends at Secrecy News, the recent report from the Congressional Research Service about the Coast Guard's Deepwater project is posted online.

The report, Coast Guard Deepwater Program: Background,
Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress
, updated April 30th, is an excellent overview of the Deepwater program. Note that the report was written by Ronald O’Rourke, a Specialist in National Defense of the Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division of the Congressional Research Service for "members and committees of Congress." The Congressional Research Service would actually rather this report, and all their reports, are not released to the public.

Thankfully, our government is like a sieve and the Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy is fed copies of this and other CRS reports. But, I digress.

One of the "Potential Options for Congress" noted on page 19 of the report is
encourage or require the Coast Guard to replace the Deepwater program with a series of separate procurement programs for replacing individual classes of cutters, boats, and aircraft.
Interestingly, this is the tack that the Coast Guard is going to take, nuking the term Deepwater in the process. What we'll see is, indeed, a more traditional acquisition process and program in place as noted as an option in the report.

Ah, let the oversight begin...


  1. The public can access the reports, but must request them through their member of Congress. Admittedly, this is a dinosaur's approach to information and transparency.

    The University of North Texas maintains a searchable library of CRS reports here:

  2. The Univ of North Texas library web site is searchable but it doesn't have the latest CRS report on Deepwater. The most recent reports on the subject are about a year old. Oh well. Still interesting.