Panel Recommends Giving Pentagon Flexibility on Acquisitions

Panel Recommends Giving Pentagon Flexibility on Acquisitions

 

An advisory panel established by Congress said this week that the Pentagon needs more flexibility in acquisitions and in finding other U.S. companies from which to buy products, services and weapons systems.

In its third of three reports, the Section 809 panel said the DOD bureaucracy has limited the marketplace, leaving some U.S. companies to work with nonstate entities, according to Defense News.

“The whole focus is to speed up the process to deliver what the war fighter needs,” said panel chair David Drabkin, a former General Services Administration official. “We’re at war. We won’t declare it, but there’s a cyberwar going on. And the Chinese and the Russians are beating us, and they’re buying stuff we don’t even know about, but in some cases we invented.”

When the panel visited a Silicon Valley company that the Pentagon hadn’t worked with, for example, they learned a Chinese delegation had been there the week before and offered to buy the company’s production line – or the company itself – according to Defense News.

Panel member Allan Burman, a former federal procurement administrator, said the problem is made worse by federal budget chaos.

“Our prime recommendation, it goes without saying, is to pass the budget on time,” Burman said. “We haven’t for a number of years been too successful at that.”

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