Arlington, VA — Today Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, introduced a defense acquisition reform bill called the Defense Acquisition Streamlining and Transparency Act. This legislation would streamline and modernize the acquisition system, allowing the Department of Defense (DoD) to buy military goods faster and at better prices. The legislation will allow the Pentagon to act more like a business, speed up the auditing process, and add oversight to DoD contracts, among other key reforms.
Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) Policy Director Dan Caldwell issued the following statement:
“The current acquisition process is outdated and cumbersome, wasting money and hurting our military’s ability to move quickly on acquisitions when they need to. Rep. Thornberry’s new bill will help streamline and modernize this system, allowing the Pentagon to access cheaper materials more quickly and empowering officials to make smarter, data-driven decisions in real time. The Department of Defense is charged with keeping us safe and they should not be weighed down by unnecessary bureaucratic red tape. If implemented properly, this measure will drive down costs and strengthen our national security – which everyone should be in favor of.”
The Defense Acquisition Streamlining and Transparency Act will allow the DoD to buy commercial items through online marketplaces the same way businesses do. It would ensure that the DoD receives products at competitive prices and gets goods faster. Additionally, the DoD would proactively collect and analyze the information necessary to evaluate and plan for contracted services.
This bill will also remove barriers to data-sharing within the agency, allowing information to be readily available to the Secretary of Defense, Joint Staff, and military departments.
Under this measure, the DoD would be incentivized to plan major acquisitions further in advance by working with outside contractors earlier in the process. It also addresses the need for responsible personnel in charge of acquisitions. It would implement a new career development program to increase accountability and enhance the training of those specifically tasked with acquisitions.
CVA believes that the U.S. government will be unable to combat legitimate security threats as they emerge if the growing debt crisis is not addressed, and defense spending is a major structural driver of that debt. Defense secretaries including Chuck Hagel, Robert Gates, Leon Panetta, and even the newly-appointed General Mattis view the debt as a security threat. Former Joint Chiefs Admiral Mike Mullen stated this will negatively impact America’s ability to take the lead on global threats.