From 2005 October

Spotlight Focusing On Services Contracting, Oversight, Oct 12, 2005

Proponents and representatives of Defense Department services contracting are concerned that a new push in the Senate for defense acquisition reform could lead to punitive measures against them now that the DOD is spending more for services than for goods and weapon platforms.

"There is a growing perception in Congress that lax management of services contracts has resulted in circumvention of taxpayer safeguards, such as open competition and management accountability," says a member update from the Aerospace Industries Association.

Senate Armed Services Committee lawmakers complained recently that the acquisition cost of big-ticket items like the Army's Future Combat Systems are climbing. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the panel's ranking Democrat, said those increases are for programs that get a lot of management attention, but areas such as services contracting "get far less management attention [and] can suffer from problems that are even worse."

He told top DOD officials at a hearing last month that "the department has no organizations that are devoted to the acquisition of contract services, no career paths for those who work in the acquisition of contract services [and] very little training and guidance for the acquisition of contract services" (DAILY, Sept. 28).

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Proponents and representatives of Defense Department services contracting are concerned that a new push in the Senate for defense acquisition reform could lead to punitive measures against them now...

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