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Mac Thornberry to Propose Defense Acquisition Reform Bill with Anti-Red Tape Language

Mac Thornberry
Mac Thornberry

Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, is set to introduce legislation aimed at fixing procurement issues at the Defense Department, The Hill newspaper reported Sunday.

Martin Matishak writes Thornberry will offer details of his defense acquisition reform proposal when he addresses the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Monday and release the bill’s full text on Wednesday.

The bill culminates a multiyear campaign by the committee to help DoD overhaul the agency’s buying practices and seeks to curb bureaucracy that has slowed down the weapons acquisition process, according to the newspaper.

Sydney Freedberg Jr. reported for Breaking Defense that Thornberry’s legislation contains six of the seven acquisition initiatives found in the fiscal 2016 defense budget request.

“One of the themes would be reducing the red tape to empower the PMs [program managers] to do their job, because right now they’re not managing their programs; they’re managing the paperwork between the cubicles in the A and E ring [of the Pentagon],” an HASC staffer told Breaking Defense.

According to the report, Thornberry aims to merge multiple defense procurement requirements and reports into one strategic document through the legislation.

The bill would also provide military personnel flexibility to perform operational and acquisition tasks as well as make the Defense Acquisition Workforce Development Fund a permanent program at the agency, Freedberg writes.

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