Bi-Partisan New Weapon Acquisition Reform Act for DOD
This morning, President Obama signed this important bill on May 22, to curb wasteful military spending that was sponsored and voted by members of Republican and Democrat parties.
Senators Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Congressmen Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) and John McHugh (R-NY) are the chairmen and ranking members in the Senate and House.
The Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act adds new oversight and transparency to a complex and often murky process, which has long been fraught with billions of dollars in cost overruns and long delays in getting weapons ready for the battlefield.
The Senate voted 95-0 and the House voted 411-0, both unanimously, to pass this new legislation in time before Memorial Day weekend in the US. The Senate version is S. 454 and the House version is H.R. 2101.
The House-Senate bill also proposes creation of two new director-level positions within OSD, one to oversee developmental test and evaluation and another to manage the Pentagon’s systems engineering efforts. Appointed by the defense secretary, the new directors would be charged with “issuing joint guidance relating to the integration of developmental test and systems engineering” and “leading the developmental test and systems engineering workforces within DOD.”
The Pentagon's biggest defense contractors are Lockheed Martin Corp., Boeing Co., Northrop Grumman Corp., General Dynamics, and interestingly, Britain's BAE Systems.
Senator John McCain is one of bill's major sponsors, however, he could not be present as he is with his son, midshipman, Jack McCain, who is the fourth McCain due to graduate on May 22, from the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.
The US President is the commencement speaker at the US Naval Academy's ceremony on May 22, 2009.
This report was written based on the added functioning feature of live streaming from the White House at the time of the event.