Center for Naval Analyses

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The Center for Naval Analyses (CNA) is the main operating unit of The CNA Corporation (CNAC), a 501c3 corporation. It was organized in 1990 for the purpose of operating CNA, which is a Federal Contract Research Center, that is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC), or think tank, sponsored by the Department of the Navy.

CNAC's other operating unit is the Institute for Public Research (IPR), which, according to CNAC "Provides research and analysis to a diverse array of federal, state, and local government agencies and others" [1]. IPR was created and sustained through its startup years by fees CNAC received from the Department of the Navy for operating the Center for Naval Analyses. In this respect, CNAC followed the lead of several other operators of FFRDCs. The federal government, in effect, has susidized the efforts of not-for-profit corporations to compete with for-profit firms.

The Professional Services Council (PSC), an association of for-profit consulting firms, has fought the aggrandizement of FFRDCs since the early 1970s. PSC's task force on FFRDCs "is charged with the challenging task of containing [FFRDCs] and similar quasi-governmental entities that benefit from sole-source contracting or otherwise are subsidized unfairly by the federal government..." [2].