House Panel to Pentagon: Review Acquisition Red Tape

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Both Congress and the Defense Department need to review acquisition laws and regulations, a House Armed Services Committee panel is recommending.

In a report released March 20, the panel said the review should aim to simplify the acquisition process by either amending or eliminating regulations.

The same day, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Administrator Cass Sunstein directed agencies to identify regulations that are redundant or outdated.

Many companies do not compete for contracts because of the amount of regulations on government and defense contracting, the panel wrote.

The committee’s Panel on Business Challenges Within the Defense Industry authored the report.

The panel discussed acquisition issues with more than 150 people in government, industry, think tanks and academia, Washington Technology reported.

Complex regulations and processes also impact the defense acquisition workforce as well, the panel wrote.

Many senior acquisition workers are nearing retirement and the panel believes there are not enough mid-career workers to step into more senior roles.

There are also not enough of those mid-career workers to mentor new workers, the panel wrote.

The Pentagon requested $374 million in fiscal year 2013 funds to recruit and hire acquisition workers but only $120 million to train and develop those workers.

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