Contractors' software 'crap,' says top DOD IT official

The Pentagon's top information technology official sharply criticized, in the plainest possible language, the quality of software that IT contractors currently supply to the Defense Department.

"The quality of software we're getting from vendors today is crap," said Art Money, senior civilian official, who is acting as assistant secretary of Defense for command, control, communications and intelligence.

"Vendors are not building quality in," Money said today at the GovTechNet International Conference in Washington, D.C. "We're finding holes in it."

DOD buys hundreds of millions of dollars worth of software each year, including everything from shrink-wrapped packages designed to run on the desktop to customized systems running millions of lines of code.

The quality of much of the software that DOD is receiving is so poor, Money said, that he is worried about the future of the U.S. software industry. Money predicted that if the U.S. software industry does not get its act together, it could suffer the same fate as the U.S. automobile manufacturing industry, with software sales moving offshore to Japan, for example.

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