A report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) this year found that the Pentagon's 96 largest acquisition programs had cost overruns of $296 billion and were on average 22 months behind schedule — $296 billion is more than the amount spent on salaries and health care for the entire American military for two full years. As the Acting Comptroller General wrote, “DOD must improve its stewardship of taxpayer funds and the return on investment it receives from its expenditures on major weapon systems.”
Today, President Obama signed the Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act (S.454) into law — substantially beefing up oversight of the Pentagon's system of acquiring weapons, promoting greater use of competition in weapons acquisition, and requiring the DOD to revise its regulations in order to better prevent conflicts of interest in the acquisition process.
Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) in favor of the legislation during House floor debate yesterday:
Rep. Bob Andrews (D-NJ):