David Nicholls, Director, Cost Analysis and Research Division

The Cost Analysis and Research Division (CARD) helps guide the Department of Defense(Open external link)(Open external link)(Open external link)(Open external link)(Open external link)(Open external link)(Open external link)(Open external link)(Open external link)(Open external link)(Open external link)(Open external link)(Open external link)(Open external link)(Open external link)(Open external link)(Open external link) and other federal agencies in the decisions, policies, and processes of resource – both people and money – allocation. Specifically, CARD analysts engage in:

  • Evaluating costs for pending government acquisition or retention
  • Examining resource allocation policies to guide sponsors’ decision
  • Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of our sponsors’ resource allocation processes.

CARD analysts typically possess an extensive knowledge both of existing processes and of our sponsors’ roles in relationship to other stakeholders. Since resource allocation is one of the fundamental functions of government, it has become exceedingly important – particularly in a difficult economic climate – to review and examine how effectively and efficiently limited resources are distributed to the taxpayers’ best advantage. CARD’s researchers ensure our sponsors are adequately informed of the full range of consequences, implications, and scope of their decisions.

IDA researchers collaborating and strategizing on new ideas

CARD also supports the Department of Homeland Security(Open external link)(Open external link)(Open external link)(Open external link)(Open external link)(Open external link)(Open external link)(Open external link)(Open external link)(Open external link)(Open external link)(Open external link)(Open external link)(Open external link)(Open external link)(Open external link)(Open external link) efforts to assess and validate new anti-terrorism systems as mandated by the Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technology (SAFETY) Act of 2002. Similar to the support to DoD, analysts provide the technical evaluation ensuring that proposed technologies are safe and effective.

CARD’s staff of nearly 60 researchers, not surprisingly, is heavily weighted in the academic disciplines of Economics, Social, and Political Sciences; Math, Statistics, and Operations Research; and Business Administration and Management – although certainly hard science and humanities are represented among the staff as well. CARD’s staff profile comprises 80 percent advanced degrees.

Additional Publications: