H.R. 3834: Advancing America''s Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Act of 2012

H.R. 3834

Advancing America''s Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Act of 2012

Rep. Ralph Hall

April 26, 2012 (112th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Sarah Makin

Floor Situation

On Thursday, April 26, 2012, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 3834, the Advancing America's Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Act of 2012, under a suspension of the rules requiring a two-thirds majority for approval.  The bill was introduced on January 27, 2012, by Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX) and referred to the Committee on Science and Technology, which held a mark up and reported the bill by voice vote on February 7, 2012.

Bill Summary

H.R. 3834 would implement several recommendations from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) 2007 and 2010 assessments, including the following:


  • Improve program planning and coordination through strategic planning and the Advisory Council with appropriate policy and technical expertise;
  • Rebalance portfolios to focus less on short-term goals and more on large-scale, long-term, interdisciplinary research with the potential to make significant contributions to society and U.S.  competitiveness;
  • Require the program to support research and development in cyber-physical systems and human-computer interactions, visualization, and information management;
  • Convene an interagency working group to examine outstanding cloud computing research issues and the potential for using the cloud for federally-funded science and engineering research, including funding mechanisms and policies.  The bill would require the working group report on recommended guidelines for agencies to provide guidance to organizations and researchers on these issues; and
  • Formally codify and stresses the role of the National Coordination Office, which provides staff and serves as the interface for the program, and specifies the source of funding for the office (consistent with current practice).


Originally authorized in the High Performance Computing Act of 1991 (P.L. 102-194), the NITRD program is the main federal research and development investment portfolio in unclassified networking, computing, software, cybersecurity, and related information technologies.  Fifteen agencies contribute expertise and funding to the program.

NITRD Program Component Areas (PCA) areas include the following:  Cybersecurity and Information Assurance; High Confidence Software and Systems; High-End Computing Infrastructure and Applications; High-End Computing Research and Development (R&D); Human-Computer Interaction and Information Management; Large-Scale Networking; Software Design and Productivity; and Social, Economic, and Workforce Implications of IT.

The NITRD agencies' collaborative efforts increase the overall effectiveness and productivity of federal networking and information technology R&D investments, leveraging strengths, avoiding duplication, and increasing interoperability of R&D products.

According to Committee on Science and Technology, while cybersecurity R&D implications exist across all NITRD PCAs, the Cybersecurity and Information Assurance (CSIA) PCA is the major cybersecurity component of the NITRD program.  CSIA focuses on R&D to detect, prevent, resist, respond to, and recover from actions that compromise or threaten to compromise the availability, integrity, or confidentiality of computer- and network-based systems.

Broad areas of concern include Internet and network security; security of information and computer-based systems; approaches to achieving hardware and software security; testing and assessment of computer-based systems security; and reconstitution of computer-based systems and data.


Based on information from the NITRD program office, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that implementing H.R. 3834 would cost about $2 million over the 2012-2017 period, subject to the availability of appropriated funds.  That amount includes the costs to support the task force and the interagency working group.  Enacting H.R. 3834 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.