February 11, 2009
Highlights of GAO-09-362T, a testimony before the Subcommittee on Defense, Committee on Appropriations, House of Representatives
Today’s testimony addresses the challenges DOD faces to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its weapon systems acquisition and contract management. GAO has designated both areas as high risk areas since the early 1990s. DOD’s major weapon systems programs continue to take longer to develop, cost more, and deliver fewer quantities and capabilities than originally planned. DOD also continues to face long-standing challenges managing service contracts and contractors. For example, the oversight of service contracts has been recognized as a material weakness in the Army. The current fiscal environment combined with the current operational demands elevates the need to improve weapon systems acquisition and contract management.
DOD has taken steps in response to recommendations GAO has made over the past decade. Taken collectively, these actions reflect the commitment of DOD senior leadership. However, to fully address these challenges the department needs to (1) translate policy into practice, (2) ensure steps undertaken result in intended outcomes, and (3) conduct a fundamental reexamination of its reliance on contractors.
In preparing this testimony, GAO drew from issued reports, containing statements of scope and methodology used, and testimonies.
GAO (Government Accountability Office)