HASC Launches Acquisition-Reform Initiative

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) tapped HASC Vice Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Tex.) and Ranking Member Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) to lead a long-term effort to reform Defense Department acquisition. “We cannot afford a costly and ineffective acquisition system, particularly when faced with devastating impacts of repeated budget cuts and sequestration,” said McKeon in announcing the initiative during an Oct. 29 HASC hearing on acquisition reform. McKeon said Congress and the Defense Department must “look past band-aid fixes and parochial interests and have the courage to implement meaningful, lasting reform.” In an Oct. 29 opinion piece published at the Real Clear Defense website, Thornberry credited Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel for Hagel’s plan to cut 20 percent of DOD headquarters personnel over the next few years, but said that effort alone would not solve the “enormous” cost of the current acquisition system. “It will take Republicans and Democrats, House and Senate, Defense Department and military services, industry and trade associations, as well as smart, experienced individuals in and out of government all working together to fix these problems,” wrote Thornberry.