New Democrat Coalition National Security Leaders Release Recommendations to Reform Department of Defense’s Acquisition Process

Oct 8, 2014
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Responding to a request of House Armed Services Committee Vice-Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) and Ranking Member Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) for proposals from Committee members to improve the Department of Defense’s acquisition process, the New Democrat Coalition’s National Security Task Force Co-Chairs, Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Rep. Ron Barber (D-AZ) and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI) joined several of their Coalition colleagues to release a series of recommendations to “streamline and upgrade” the “way the Department of Defense acquires the weapons, technology, and logistical services that support our service members on the battlefield.”

The recommendations come following several meetings between the Coalition and representatives of public and private-sector stakeholder groups. The five high-level principles developed as a result of those conversations include (1) bringing an end to sequestration; (2) making the government a better customer to industry; (3) empowering and growing the federal workforce; (4) improving management, administration, and accountability; and (5) changing culture for long-term success. The Members argue that the recommendations are “intended to address specific acquisition challenges that would benefit the acquisition system, without claiming to address every problem.”

“To keep our service members safe and effective on the battlefield, we must first focus on the support they receive on the home front,” the leaders said in a statement. “Our recommendations won’t solve every problem, but if implemented, could lead to a smarter national security infrastructure capable of meeting the diverse threats of the 21st Century. We support the efforts of the Vice-Chair and Ranking Member to strengthen our acquisitions system, and are thankful for the opportunity to contribute to their process.”

“The Coalition clearly put a lot of thought into the development of these proposals and we greatly appreciate their outreach to key stakeholders on this critical issue,” said Professional Services Council President and CEO Stan Soloway. “The result is a set of recommendations that will contribute to the ongoing discussions about reducing barriers to entry into the federal marketplace, improving acquisition workforce training, and speeding the effective delivery of products and services to support the warfighter.”

“ITAPS is supportive of the recommendations proposed in the New Democrat Coalition National Security Task Forces’ report to the HASC and SASC on how to improve acquisitions at DoD, and believe that many of them align with our own recommendations,” the IT Alliance for Public Sector said in a statement. “We are pleased to be a partner with the New Democrat Coalition in this ongoing acquisition reform dialogue and appreciate their dedication and creativity in this process.”

Click here to read a copy of the recommendations.

Click here to read a copy of the letter.

The New Democrat Coalition is dedicated to maintaining America’s standing as the world’s strongest, most successful nation. Founded in 1997, the New Dems believe firmly in the power of American ingenuity and innovation, and are focused on finding ways to foster and harness this creativity to grow our economy, create new American jobs, and ensure a safer and more secure future for our country.