Committee wants checks on defense industry's supply chain

DOD's supply chain management has been on GAO's High Risk List since 1990

The House Armed Services Committee's defense authorization bill would require defense officials to research where they're getting their supplies in the age of the global marketplace.

The fiscal 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 1540) would require the Defense Department to conduct an assessment of its industrial base to find any potential gaps that may affect the military’s operations.

Then, the Government Accountability Office would be double-checking DOD’s work to make sure it’s actually complete. GAO would review how DOD did its assessment and that recommendations for better management are reasonable, according the bill.


Related story:

Shifting market keeps DOD alert for conflicts of interest


On May 12, the committee approved the $690 billion legislation to support DOD, contingency operations, and the national security work. The House hasn't acted on the bill, and the Senate hasn't considered its version.

GAO has included DOD's management of its supply chain on its High Risk List since 1990.

Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), chairman of the Armed Services Committee's Readiness Subcommittee, said DOD relies on thousands of suppliers to buy the weapons, equipment and raw materials it needs to support ongoing and future conflicts.

“However, increasing globalization in the defense industry presents uncertainty in the U.S. forces’ ability to maintain a reliable and sufficient supplier base in the event of conflicts,” said Forbes, who recommended the provision be included in the bill.

DOD officials have also recognized the problem and are attempting to change their approach to management.

They're planning to conduct evaluations based on real data and continuous appraisals of its suppliers. Their new approach would replace the old ways of narrow reviews conducted by program and by product, Frank Kendall, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, said May 3 in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee.

“By continuously assessing the industrial base on a sector-by-sector, tier-by-tier basis, the department will develop a reservoir of critical and actionable information,” he said.

About the Author

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

Featured

  • Contracting
    8 prototypes of the border walls as tweeted by CBP San Diego

    DHS contractors face protests – on the streets

    Tech companies are facing protests internally from workers and externally from activists about doing for government amid controversial policies like "zero tolerance" for illegal immigration.

  • Workforce
    By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

    At OPM, Weichert pushes direct hire, pay agent changes

    Margaret Weichert, now acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, is clearing agencies to make direct hires in IT, cyber and other tech fields and is changing pay for specialized occupations.

  • Cloud
    Shutterstock ID ID: 222190471 By wk1003mike

    IBM protests JEDI cloud deal

    As the deadline to submit bids on the Pentagon's $10 billion, 10-year warfighter cloud deal draws near, IBM announced a legal protest.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.