Monday, October 5, 2015

McCain Wins Big With Acquisition Reform

McCain Wins Big With Acquisition Reform: With conference finished on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), it appears that sweeping acquisition reforms spearheaded by Sen. John McCain will become the law of the land.

The bill, reported out of a joint committee Sept. 29, gives service chiefs and secretaries overall responsibility for acquisition programs within the services — a shift away from the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L), which has held milestone decision authority over programs for roughly the past 30 years.

"That's designed to establish clear lines of authority and clear accountability so the service chief and service secretary are given greater responsibility in this bill," a Senate Armed Services Committee staff member said during a briefing with reporters a day after the committee report was filed.

Months of negotiations between House and Senate committee conferees sorted through more than 120 acquisition policy provisions to yield a conference report with mostly Senate provisions. The measures are aimed at increasing accountability, streamlining existing rules, and gaining access to different and nontraditional parts of the industrial base.