McCain Seeks Broad Review of Pentagon Procurement Processes
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) called for a broad review of the Pentagon procurement system yesterday, citing the Air Force’s recent contracting scandals as evidence of larger problems. The Air Force’s acquisition system has been under a microscope since the Boeing KC-767 scandal, but in the wake of additional revelations recently concerning C-130 contracts and others, Sen. McCain wishes to broaden that review to include the entire Department of Defense.
Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), cited cuts in the Pentagon’s acquisition workforce, which is half the size it was 15 years ago. “We have made these cuts in a haphazard way,” Lieberman said. “I am concerned that we may have stopped building the kind of strong, experienced senior leaders that we need…”
The Druyun controversy also led to the creation of a federal task force led by Paul J. McNulty, the U.S. attorney in Alexandria. According to the Washington Post, McNulty told the subcommittee that anecdotes suggest procurement fraud is growing. He also testified that his Procurement Fraud Working Group, which includes investigators from several Pentagon and federal law enforcement agencies, was especially necessary because the FBI has shifted resources away from white-collar crime since Sept. 11, 2001.
Sen. McCain has been especially active on the procurement front lately, moving the new C-130J transport aircraft program to traditional military procurement contract from a “commercial item” contract, and asking about the cost of completely redoing the Army’s $20.9 billion Future Combat System (FCS) contract. In response, Army Secretary Francis Harvey and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker will oblige the FCS program to give cost and purchasing data to military auditors at least three times each year, a requirement it was exempted from under Federal Acquisition Regulation 12. The FCS contract will also be renegotiated under more standard terms, which will include items like the Truth in Negotiation Act; the Procurement Integrity Act; and an organizational conflicts-of-interest clause.
- Official Release: Statement Of Senator John McCain At The Airland Subcommittee Hearing On Air Force Acquisition Oversight
- Official Release: Senator McCain Statement On The Announcement To Change The C-130J Program To A Traditional Military Procurement
- Washington Post, Apr 15/05: McCain Seeks Review Of Pentagon Buying
- Reuters: McCain Asks Cost of Redoing U.S. Army-Boeing Deal
- DefenseTech.org: Dragon Lady’s “Massacre”
- DefenseTech.org: McCain 1, Pentagon 0