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U.S. Government Renews Contract with Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute

Press Release

Media Contact
Don Hale, CMU

Research and development center funded through September 2005

PITTSBURGH, PA, June 21, 2000—The U.S. government has renewed its contract with the Software Engineering Institute (SEI). The SEI was established in 1984 at Carnegie Mellon University as a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) dedicated to advancing the practice of software engineering and improving the quality of systems that depend on software. The SEI's new five-year contract with its sponsor, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics [OUSD(AT&L)], ensures that the SEI will continue to pursue its mission through September 2005. This is the third time that the government has endorsed the SEI mission by renewing its contract; previous contract renewals were in 1991 and 1996.

The SEI carries out its mission by focusing on software engineering management and technical practices. Within these broad areas of work, the SEI has defined specific initiatives that address pervasive and significant problems that impede the ability of organizations to acquire, build, and evolve software-intensive systems predictably on time, within expected cost, and with expected functionality.

The process for establishing and renewing an FFRDC contract is detailed in the government's Federal Acquisition Regulations. Contract renewal is a thorough and difficult undertaking. Beginning in the summer of 1999, the U.S. government conducted an extensive review of the SEI, culminating in a unanimous recommendation by government reviewers to renew the SEI contract.

The recommendation stated that"The SEI has demonstrated, and its various sponsors have attested to, its high technical quality and its responsiveness to their needs. The work of the SEI, in supporting its sponsors, is critical; no other organization exists that is capable of delivering these services at the same high quality, technical level and with objectivity and independence. The Panel commends the SEI in its accomplishments to date and urges that the SEI further raise the software engineering discipline to the next level of refinement with as broad a scope as possible in the next five years. The SEI is encouraged to "go out on a limb" with respect to their vision, mission, and goals to remain at the leading edge. It is the unanimous recommendation of the Comprehensive Technical Review Panel that SEI continue its role as an FFRDC."

"The Software Engineering Institute does outstanding and very important work in improving the quality of new software being developed," says Congressman Bill Coyne (D-PA). "This contract renewal will allow the SEI to continue its groundbreaking work, which I believe has contributed significantly to the growth of the New Economy."


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Richard Lynch