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Frank Kendall: Pentagon In Sequestration Damage Limitation Mode

Frank Kendall
Frank Kendall

The Defense Department is in damage limitation mode as it seeks to manage the effects of automatic budget cuts under sequestration, the Pentagon’s lead weapons buyer said Tuesday.

Frank Kendall, undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, told an audience at the Newseum in Washington he is concerned the contracting industry is losing professionals because of the cuts.

Kendall is “still hoping sequestration will be overturned,” he said at the conference on defense budget uncertainty sponsored by McAleese & Associates and Credit Suisse.

The Pentagon is required to cut $46 billion from its fiscal year 2013 budget under sequestration.

Deputy Secretary Ashton Carter told attendees the Pentagon is required to work through $487 billion in cuts.

Carter said he expects merger-and-acquisition activity to pick up within the contracting industry.

Kendall also said the Pentagon will seek to change its definition of low price technically acceptable as it is difficult to define what technically acceptable is.

“In some cases we will pay more for more value,” he said.

Pentagon workers stationed in war zones will not be subject to furloughs under sequestration and should not be concerned about them, Kendall added.

Robert Hale, the Pentagon’s comptroller, said Monday the department is preparing to put civilian employees on unpaid furloughs for up to 22 days.

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