Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter spoke on the House floor in favor of legislation that will save taxpayers billions of dollars each year, while keeping Americans safe with the most advanced weapons systems available. The Weapons Acquisition System Reform Bill, which Shea-Porter was an original cosponsor of, passed the House 428 to 0.
“It is essential that we restore integrity to our procurement process and provide our service members with optimal equipment,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter. “By rooting out waste and fraud, this bipartisan bill will save billions of dollars in taxpayer money and will provide our men and women with the tools they need to keep us safe.”
The Weapons Acquisition System Reform Bill will modernize the way we select and oversee major purchases, and it will give the American people confidence that their tax dollars are being well spent. The Government Accountability Office found that, as of 2009, the Department of Defense has $296 billion of cost overruns on 96 major weapons systems. That is more than the amount the government spends on salaries and health care for the entire American military for two full years.
Specifically, this bill will:
Require the Secretary of Defense to designate an official as the Department’s principal expert on performance assessment in acquisition. That official will report to the Department and Congress on the success of procurement programs;
mandate that weapons systems that fail to meet the standards and schedules set out for them face annual reviews from oversight officials and increased scrutiny by Congress;
require the Department to set up a new system to track the cost overruns and schedule changes that happen early on in the procurement process – when most of the waste and the least of the oversight currently occur;
promote greater use of competition in weapons acquisition, and
require DOD to take steps to prevent conflicts of interest in the acquisition process.