CRS Issue Statement on Defense Acquisition
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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The Department of Defense DOD has fielded, by all accounts, a technologically advanced and superior military force in the world and is supplied by a sophisticated acquisition system. This acquisition system is comprised of the management policy and processes that guide all DOD acquisition programs. However, at the same time, DOD has experienced significant problems managing the costs, schedule, and performance of this acquisition system, despite continued efforts to reform defense acquisition policies, personnel, and processes. In recent years, Congress has expressed increasing concerns with the management of the DOD acquisition system. Congressional concerns include the failure of DOD to develop effective acquisition strategies to field weapons systems and effectively provide oversight and accountability for service contracts and contractors, particularly with the broader policy questions raised in the awarding and managing of contracts for reconstruction and combat support services performed in Iraq. Recent reports of weapon system cost overruns and instances of waste, fraud, abuse, and contract mismanagement point to a continued need for investigations, hearings, and other oversight activities for the second session of the 111th Congress. Congress has already taken steps to address some of the problems through the passage of the Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009, Public Law 111-23. Other related legislative initiatives introduced but not enacted during the 111th Congress were the Weapons Acquisition System Reform Through Enhancing Technical Knowledge and Oversight Act, H.R. 2101, and the Contractor Accountability Act, H.R.1360.
- Administration and Management
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies