The Insider

Thornberry introduces new acquisition reform bill

May 18, 2017 |
Tony Bertuca

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) introduced an acquisition reform bill today, which he said was focused on helping the department "run more like a business."

"This year we're not as much going for the bright shiny objects, the aircraft carriers and the fighters. We're going for the other things that may not be as glamorous," he told reporters Thursday. "We're going for other things that are tremendously important, tremendously costly for the Department of Defense."

Among the most significant changes proposed in the bill is an authorization for the Defense Department to begin using existing online marketplaces to procure a selection of commercial items from suppliers.

Other proposed reforms include initiatives to drive efficiencies and transparency into DOD's services contracts; establishment of a central intellectual property office with a cadre of experts who can help DOD negotiate with industry; and changes to the Defense Contract Audit Agency to put greater emphasis on incurred cost audits.

The bill is Thornberry's third piece of acquisition reform legislation in as many years. He intends the stand-alone bill to be eventually rolled into the fiscal year 2018 defense authorization bill.