Can Congress Keep Up the Pressure on Acquisition Reform?
By Sandra I. Erwin
A recent groundswell of legislative and regulatory actions to reform Defense Department weapon acquisition practices may not lead to meaningful change if the efforts are not kept up for years to come, insiders contend.
Of particular concern are plans endorsed by the Obama administration and Congress to shift acquisition jobs from contractors to government personnel. From 2010 to 2014, the Pentagon is expected to hire 33,400 civilian workers, 10,000 of whom would be in acquisition roles.
The problem is that acquisition experts and contracting officers cannot be hired off the street. They require years of training to come up to snuff. Reform advocates worry that these efforts will lose momentum because Congress tends to have a short attention span.