Today, Chairman of the House Committee on Armed Services Mac Thornberry (R-TX) introduced the Defense Acquisition Streamlining and Transparency Act. Thornberry has long been an advocate of a more effective acquisition process at the Department of Defense and the provisions of this new legislation would help ensure efficiency at the DOD.
The key provisions in this bill would streamline the acquisition process by removing burdensome bureaucracy and opening Pentagon purchasing up to a wider market. Not only does that hasten the process of getting the military what they need, but provides better pricing options because the Pentagon would act more like a business. The legislation also assists the Pentagon in the planning process by empowering the DOD to make “data-driven decisions” and incentivizing DOD to plan acquisitions with outside contractors earlier.
As for transparency, that is sorely needed to the Pentagon as well. CVA has called for an audit of the Pentagon for years, as have others focused on efficient spending. This bill would speed up the process for DOD’s self-auditing by allowing outside auditors to be contracted and ensuring that DOD better collects and analyzes financial information relevant to acquisition.
The military and Defense Department can be leaner yet maintain its critical strength. In fact, the department and nation as a whole will be stronger with more effective methods of spending and acquisition at the Pentagon. Funds and time that are not spent effectively are funds and time that go to waste. But eliminating waste will ensure that funds go to the programs that need them most at the Department of Defense. Defense officials, including current Secretary James Mattis, have stated that our national debt is a massive security risk. Wasteful, ineffective spending contributes to that security risk. It’s of the utmost importance that our lawmakers focus their efforts on ensuring money is spent well and programs that keep us safe are properly funded.