Oversight Hearing on Defense Acquisitions

Posted on by Jesse Lee

The Oversight Committee is currently holding a hearing, “Oversight of Defense Department Acquisitions.” The hearing will examine the recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) titled, “Defense Acquisitions: Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs” (pdf). This report found that the Defense Department's 95 major weapons acquisition programs currently exceed their original budgets by nearly $300 billion dollars and are, on average, 21 months late in delivering these weapons systems to warfighters. Witnesses from the GAO and DOD will testify.

Watch the hearing live >>

Chairman Henry Waxman gives opening remarks, focusing on a case study of the Marine Corps’ Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV), which after an investment of $1.2 billion in development is now being scrapped and begun again after failure of the design. The new contract has been given to the same company:

Chairman Waxman: “Six years ago, Defense Department auditors called the project a ‘paper dream’ and said ‘management does not have a handle on reality.’ They pointed out elementary flaws in the Marine Corps acquisition strategy, such as the failure to set a realistic schedule, the reliance on an expensive ‘test-fix-test’ approach, and the lack of anyone with overall responsibility for integrating the various components of the project. But when a second set of auditors looked at the program four years later, they told us they saw ‘no improvement.’ They found ‘disarray, uncoordinated design decisions, reliability issues, and… general lack of planning and status monitoring.’”
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