P.L. 111-23, The Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009 (5 comments ↓ | 16 wiki edits: view article ↓)

  • This item is from the 111th Congress (2009-2010) and is no longer current. Comments, voting, and wiki editing have been disabled, and the cost/savings estimate has been frozen.

S. 454 would improve the organization and procedures of the Department of Defense for the acquisition of major weapon systems.

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May 14, 2009, 1:35pm (report abuse)

Just adding people won't solve this problem. MITRE does that supervision job already. I worked there years ago.

Instead, change what happens when it become clear that the price bid has nothing to do with what is paid.

For example, use Extreme Programming ideas and divide projects into discrete short deliverable parts, so bidders who bid too low, or who provide bad quality, on an early part, lose the ability to work on the later parts.

Financially reward a history of accurate cost and time estimates and high quality, rather than inaccurate estimates and low quality.

Make having a history of poor quality, late delivery, and cost over-runs, provide negative consequences for contractors in their future business with government. Make their investors and stock holders lose money from it.

Waste only stops when it becomes unprofitable.

Finally, PLEASE get rid of us having what amounts to four Air Forces who duplicate projects.

Gary Stephenson

May 25, 2009, 4:26pm (report abuse)

This bill is better that its predecessor, HR.1830, which called for government involvement in subsystem make/buy decisions INSIDE a government contract. Industry perspective is that if the government wants to control a contract for a subsystem, they should let a contract for said subsystem. This objectionable aspect was thankfully removed from S.454.


(logged-in user) May 25, 2009, 4:33pm (report abuse)

Points in favor: Directs JROC to actually check with field commanders to see if they want a weapons system.

Points against: More acquisition complexity than ever before.


May 27, 2009, 1:31pm (report abuse)

This bill will eliminate thousands of technical, financial, and logistical jobs from the private sector, supporting acquisition programs, which the DoD will not be adequately prepared to absorb immediately. Weapon systems acquisition will slow down considerable and more waste will be seen throughout the acquisition process because of the need to push ahead ill-managed programs.

Current Acquirer

May 27, 2009, 11:03pm (report abuse)

Additional oversight, while our usual approach, doesn't really fix this, IMHO. I believe what's needed is either a) fewer programs, b) more acquisition specialists (PM, SE, Acq Log, Test, etc.), or c) both. I've spent my whole career "starting" programs, and I've never had more the 4-6 people helping me "develop the strategy" and "develop the plan" to meet oversigt requirements in phase with the dollars. We ended up making assumptions we never had time to verify, and some of them were big assumptions. I'm afraid more oversight will drive "more documentation needs" that will pull the attention of too few people away from "what needs to be done for the program"; instead their focus will be on "what needs to be done to get through the oversight to get to the program." Reform is needed, but I think an influx of trained personnel developing & implementing a thoughtful & approved program strategy is more important "where the rubber meets the road" on a program.

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