Sen. John McCain: Defense Policy Bill Will Spur Partnerships Between Silicon Valley Firms, Pentagon

John McCain
John McCain

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has said the fiscal year 2016 defense policy bill contains provisions that would overhaul the military acquisition system and allow technology firms from Silicon Valley to help the Defense Department address what he calls an “emerging innovation gap.”

McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, wrote in a Wired opinion piece published Wednesday that he considers the current acquisition process “a national security crisis.”

He cited a recent report that from 2001 to 2011, the Pentagon spent $46 billion on programs that failed to reach the operational phase.

McCain noted that the National Defense Authorization Act’s measures aim to facilitate collaboration between nontraditional contractors and DoD through the implementation of “commercial buying practices.”

“The bill ensures businesses are not forced to cede intellectual property developed at their own expense to the government,” McCain wrote.

He also added that NDAA will work to reduce certification requirements for weapons acquisitions and accelerate the recruitment of professionals with science, technology, engineering and math skills.

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