Friday, April 30, 2010

Murphy Defense Acquisition Reform Legislation Passes

from the inbox:

Representatives Hail Passage of H.R. 5013, The IMPROVE Acquisition Act, to Better Serve Military and American Taxpayers

$135 billion Amount of money the bill saves taxpayers over 5 years

$32,642 Amount of money the military paid for an aircraft refrigerator that only cost $13,825 two years earlier – 136% higher for exactly the same product

7 years Time it takes the DOD to acquire information technology, when most IT products become obsolete within just 36 months

(Washington, DC) – April 29, 2010, Chairman of the Defense Acquisition Reform (DAR) Panel, Congressmen Rob Andrews (D-NJ), and Patrick Murphy (D-PA), Member of the House Armed Services Committee, have long worked to improve how the military purchases weapons and services. Yesterday, by a vote of 417-3, the House of Representatives passed legislation based on the panel’s recommendations requiring that the federal government improve the defense acquisition process.

“The IMPROVE acquisition Act makes sure the brave men and women who protect our country get the tools they need to fight more efficiently while cutting down on wasteful spending and saving taxpayers $135 billion over five years," said Congressman Rob Andrews.

“I was proud to work with Congressman Andrews to clean up wasteful defense acquisition spending, saving taxpayers billions of dollars and ensuring that the men and women in our military get the best possible equipment, training, and services,” said Congressman Patrick Murphy.

The bipartisan legislation overhauls the defense acquisition system to clean up waste, ensuring our servicemembers have what they need and that taxpayers get the best value for every dollar spent. The first reform entails building a better accountability system so the Department of Defense has a way to measure performance and hold the right people accountable if the goods or services they bought fail to meet standards. This will help the military avoid situations such as what happened in Iraq when it bought thousands of meals that were not needed and were never used.

The second reform improves DOD’s financial management system to make auditable, so that American taxpayers know whether their money is accounted for and are clear exactly where it is going.

Finally, the IMPROVE Acquisition Act builds our industrial base to enhance competition and gain access to more technology. Congressman Murphy offered an amendment, which was included in the bill, to strengthen this reform by requiring the DOD to monitor and assess the services and Information Technology portion of the industrial base for the first time – not just the military’s weapons systems.

One of their central findings of the DAR Panel was that the defense acquisition system focuses almost completely on weapons systems and not enough on services and IT, which actually make up a majority of acquisition spending. As a result, there is often a lack of competition among contractors that leaves the military with only one or two options when evaluating potential contracts. Congressman Murphy’s will help to expand competition in the services and IT sectors with the goal of avoiding a similar dependency in the future.

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