POGO Highlights 2 Procurement Reform Efforts
DID has covered the bi-partisan drive for defense procurement reform among U.S. legislators. The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) non-governmental organization has a couple of recent entries on its blog that highlight a couple of recent efforts to watch.
One is from Sen. John McCain [R-AZ]. The other concerns some candid testimony to the DAPA from Air Force General Lawrence Farrell Jr. (ret.), President of the National Defense Industrial Association.
One effort involves a 13-page amendment introduced into the FY 2006 Defense Authorization Bill by Sen. McCain (S.1042, 109th Congress, 1st Session). Purpose? “To regulate management contracts, require an Analysis of Alternatives for major acquisitions of the Department of Defense, and impose additional limitations on certain leases and charters.” The key changes and other links can all be found at POGO’s blog.
POGO also reports that the Defense Acquisition Performance Assessment (DAPA) Project heard some pretty candid and unexpected testimony from Air Force General Lawrence Farrell Jr. (ret.), President of the National Defense Industrial Association. Among his key points:
- Competition is critical, even if this means encouraging competition from foreign contractors or breaking up larger contracts.
- The government needs to quit low-balling the initial cost estimates of acquiring multi-billion-dollar weapons systems.
- Bad programs need to be killed more quickly.
- A single military office needs to be responsible for determining what weapons the military needs and for ultimately seeing that the weapons actually work.
- The government is doing a bad job of selecting and training weapons systems program managers.
- The F-16 fighter jet program is his notion of THE model weapons acquisition program.
Links and expanded explanations of the above points can be found at POGO’s blog.