If you ever wondered why our government always seems to spend more than it takes in, this might explain a few things:
Once an Agency within the Intelligence Community started a research program to learn some techniques for processing. There are three types of research programs a) 6-1: essentially do research no one has done before and invent new technology b) 6-2: take research from 6-1 or other 6-2 projects and apply it but do it in a manner so that it doesn’t live on – this means don’t build in a lot of the infrastructure required to sustain it for 10 or more years – achieve the learning objective and that is it and c) 6-3: take research from 6-1, 6-2, or other 6-3, or some combination and build a system expected to go operational and be sustained in use for a period of time.
This Agency chose to do a 6-2 research program. It was interesting and they learned a lot. At the time I and my technical director were putting together an architecture for an area that served both the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community. We were directed to include this project in the architecture. We spent time looking at it and traveling to see it and traveling to talk to people who worked on it. Our input was we already have an operational system that does everything this does and more – it is not needed. It got to be really hotly contested but I and my technical director would not budge. One day the general called me into his office and said I had to include in the architecture – the Senate was insisting on it. (side note: an architecture is a documentation of what and why something is happening – it consists of inputs, outputs, constraints, and mechanisms where the mechanisms are how things are done and by whom). So the next day I brought my drawings to him with the effort in the drawings. He looked at me and got red and said “I said to include it”. I replied “I did, see that box over here?” He said “the box isn’t connected to anything – where are the inputs, outputs, constraints”? I said, “Well sir, the Senate hasn’t told me that yet and I am unable to figure it out – perhaps you could ask them for this information and I’ll include it.” Fortunately for me – the general I worked for was a great man – he roared with laughter He rolled everything up and left. I got chewed out for sending him into the lion’s den and that what I did was wrong. The general came back to the office a few days later. Said I opened a can of worms. Turns out two contractor’s got fired from their companies and it was found that they were making this into a money deal for the companies – the companies got off with a verbal slap and firing the two contractors – who permanently lost clearances with the US intelligence community. I smiled. The BG said “well, done”. The other people who yelled at me are still wondering to this day what happened. We saved the government about $100M with that little stunt. This is yet another reason I never made senior.
She should have been promoted on the spot!