Me Too

/ March 6, 2009 at 5:00 AM

Just days after the White House issued new acquisition rules for the U.S. government and little over a week after Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI) and John McCain (R-AZ) penned joint legislation aimed at revamping the Pentagon's procurement process, House members have decided to throw their hat into the acquisition reform ring.

House Armed Services committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D- MO) has formally stood up a new "Panel of Defense Acquisition Reform," according to a committee press release issued today. Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ) will chair the newly formed panel, which includes Democratic Reps. Jim Cooper (TN), Brad Ellsworth (IN) and Joe Sestak (PA). On the Republican side, Rep. Mike Conaway (TX) will serve as the group's ranking member, with Reps. Duncan Hunter (CA) and Mike Coffman (CO) rounding out the GOP side of the group.

The seven-member bipartisan committee will "address broad issues surrounding the defense acquisition process," the committee release states. Those issues will include evaluation of current performance and value in the current acquisition system, exploring root causes of system failures and "administrative and cultural pressures" that lead to failing systems, it adds.

The panel will review these and other issues over a six-month period, with an option for an additional six months for continued evaluation. The panel will then issue its recommendations in a report to be included in the fiscal year 2011 defense authorization bill, according to the statement. The panel's preliminary findings will also be integrated into the FY-10 bill, already in the works, as "different pieces of acquisition reform legislation come under consideration," it adds.

"The very talented members of this panel will put a fresh set of eyes on the problem, and I look forward to their recommendations," Skelton said in the statement. 

-- Carlo Muñoz