The management of data processing systems in the Federal government is rapidly approaching a state of crisis.1 The Federal information systems inventory is a collection of outdated hardware as well as software techniques and systems which were abandoned 1 ong ago in the private sector. Projects have such long lead times that when systems are finally devel oped they are outmoded or no 1 onger meet current requi rements. A number of sol uti ons have been proposed which range from new rul es and procedures to i ncreased use of private contractors in delivering EDP resources. Many of the proposed solutions have more to do with the political philosophy of the proposers than with the realities of data processing management or the underlying political processes which make EDP management so complex in the government sector. This paper examines the causes of Federal FDP management problems and the political questions that must be resolved for any proposed solutions to succeed.