We are pleased to be here today to discuss issues facing the Department of Defense (DOD) in its acquisition of weapon systems, related spare parts, and other goods and services. In response to the many changes that have been witnessed in the defense acquisition environment over the last few years, DOD has begun broad-based changes to its acquisition and contracting processes. However, weapon programs continue to have questionable requirements; unrealistic cost, schedule, and performance estimates; and strategies that begin production before adequate testing has been completed. This discussion of acquisition issues is well-timed, as DOD implements plans to increase its procurement budget to $60 billion in fiscal year 2001-a 40-percent increase over last fiscal year's budget. My testimony focuses on a different approach to improving weapon acquisition outcomes based on best commercial practices and an understanding of the acquisition culture. My testimony also includes some observations on (1) DOD'S management of its acquisition workforce and organization, (2) DOD'S experience with commercial pricing of spare parts, (3) the effectiveness of DOD'S mentor-protege pilot program, and (4) federal agencies' use of multiple award task- and delivery-order contracts.
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