House committee establishes acquisition panel

The House Armed Services Committee today established a panel to review the Defense Department’s procurement system. The full committee said the new panel will help write reforms in the next two defense authorization bills.

The Defense Acquisition Reform Panel will consider how to evaluate performance and value in the current acquisition system and the causes of its failures. It also will look at the administrative and cultural pressures that lead to poor acquisition results, the committee said.

The panel, created for six months, will release a report on its findings this fall, the committee said. The report will help guide reform language in the fiscal 2011 defense authorization act. The committee’s leaders expect information from the panel on reform legislation to consider for the fiscal 2010 defense authorization legislation.

Rep. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.) is the panel’s chairman, and Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) is ranking member. The panel also includes Reps. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.), Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) and Mike Coffman (R-Colo.).

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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Reader comments

Fri, May 29, 2009 Suspect #1

Having been in acquisitions since 1988 I can tell you that we have always been under scrutiny. Every contract that is let is reveiwed and re-checked many time by several people before release and distribution to the vendor. Once again, someone who wants to make a name for themselves is deciding that Government Contracting is chock full of criminals making illegal deals. I would venture to say that abuses amount to less than 1% of the total number of contracting actions accomplished. OH, and most of them are for the really big bucks. Which have to be approved by congress!

Mon, Mar 9, 2009 Sharon

Another study! Anyone want to lay odds that the findings of this study will be similar if not identical to previous studies and will result in no corrective actions or changes to reduce and clarify the regulations? It's kinda like having a meeting for the sole purpose of planning the next meeting - over and over again.

Mon, Mar 9, 2009 dtp

I hope the panel calls upon and uses the advise of the many formaer military members who are now Federal contractors. These professionals have the unique benefit of having been on bothsides of the fence and in almost all cases have not lost their federal perspective.

Mon, Mar 9, 2009

Amazing. Congress has continually added more and more regulations on how to do acquisitions over the years without thought about how these regulations impact the process. A large part of the administrative pressure is simply trying to wade through layers of regulation that may be well-intentioned, but their impact on the time required for the acquistion process and difficulty in establishing workable procedures to ensure compliance are a nightmare.

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