The Insider

Thornberry to unveil acquisition reform bill Thursday

May 16, 2017 |
Tony Bertuca

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) plans to release his stand-alone acquisition reform bill at a press conference Thursday.

The bill, which Thornberry intends to roll into the larger fiscal year 2018 defense authorization bill, is the "third installment" of the chairman's effort to "enact reasonable, realistic reform in the Department of Defense," according to a committee statement.

Thornberry told reporters earlier this month that one of the bill's key areas would focus on bolstering the Pentagon's ability to negotiate with industry over intellectual property.

"It requires some sort of specific knowledge or expertise," he said May 2. "One of the things I think we need to look at is beefing up the department's ability to engage in intellectual property negotiations. It's a challenging area of the law."

Thornberry also said his bill would seek to eliminate unnecessary or redundant legislative requirements that often hamper Pentagon procurement.

"One of the things I think I'll talk about probably week after next is streamlining some of the legislative requirements that have built up over the years that tie the department's hands and prevent them from being agile," he said.

Still, Thornberry said there was "no magic bill I can ever pass to fix acquisition," but added he would continue to work with Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) to push every year for reforms in sizable "chunks."