SET-ASIDES

Panel starts study of possible changes in IRS operations

Congress last month appointed members to the new National Commission to Restructure the Internal Revenue Service, which will recommend changes to the agency's operations, including its computer systems.

Its 12 members include Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Robert Kerrey (D-Neb.); Rep. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Rep. Robert Matsui (D-Calif.); former IRS commissioner Fred Goldberg, and George Newstrom, corporate vice president with Electronic Data Systems Corp.

ADR reauthorization bill passes House

The House last week passed a bill that would reauthorize agencies' authority to use

alternative dispute-resolution procedures to resolve contract disputes [H.R. 2977].

The Office of Federal Procurement Policy said last week that agencies have reaped "considerable savings in time, cost and business relations" by avoiding litigation.

Examples of such agency activities include the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which has formed management teams with its information technology contractors to prevent conflicts, and at the Army Materiel Command, which has developed an internal protest procedure.

House OKs science bill, but eventual fate uncertain

Late last month the House agreed to a $19.4 billion measure authorizing civilian science programs [H.R. 3322].

The measure would allocate $271.1 million for the National Weather Service's Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System, shave $261 million from NASA's Mission to Planet Earth program and cancel the Clinton administration's Advanced Technology Program.

A similar measure stalled in the Senate last year, and the fate of this current bill is also uncertain.

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