FEDWIRE

DOD bill would cut acquisition jobs

The House National Security Committee approved a $267.3 billion authorization bill for the Defense Department that would eliminate 15,000 procurement jobs by October 1997 in addition to the 15,000 that are slated to be cut this year.

According to a summary of the bill, the panel also would provide $400 million for a global command and control system and global broadcast system designed to provide the military with a "tactical internet" for joint service operations, and the panel will back research into how the department might use a planned worldwide commercial fiber-optic network.

Further details about the measure were unavailable last week. DOD had asked the panel to consider a variety of procurement reform provisions that were not enacted in the fiscal 1996 bill, but panel chairman Rep. Floyd Spence (R-S.C.) said earlier this year that he did not want to consider any major changes to the law.

New bill targets encryption

Sens. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.) and Patrick Leahy (R-N.H.) last week introduced a bill that would loosen current government restrictions on exports of encryption technology. The Promotion of Commerce On-Line in the Digital Era Act of 1996 also would prohibit the government from mandating a nationwide government key escrow system.

The bill is similar to a bill that Burns and Leahy introduced earlier this year, although it does not specify regulations for management of a commercial key escrow system. Similar legislation has been introduced in the House.

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