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Inside the World's Biggest Buyer
The federal government takes more than $1 trillion per year to operate, with nearly half of its operating budget spent on the acquisition of goods and services. Congress, executive branch political leadership and career federal managers all agree — federal acquisition needs to be a lot more efficient and effective. Federal News Radio's week-long special report, Inside the World's Biggest Buyer, takes a look at acquisition from every perspective: agency, industry, workforce, oversight, and suspension and debarment.
Weapons System Acquisition Reform Act (2009)
Friday - 6/8/2012, 12:06pm EDT
Congress passed the Weapons System Acquisition Reform Act of 2009 to improve the way the Defense Department buys major weapons systems.
This came about because the Government Accountability Office had found many of the major weapons systems DoD had contracted for had come in over cost and behind schedule and were not performing as promised.
"It focused on some upfront cost assessments and made sure there was a framework in place at the Department of Defense to honest and reliable cost estimates before the department committed to specific program," said William Woods, director of acquisition and sourcing management at the Government Accountability Ofﬁce.
The act also had requirements for technological evolution of programs.
"Before the department and Congress committed significant funds to major systems, we had to be sure that the technology was mature and reliable," Woods said. "We're no longer relying on just contractor estimates."
As a result of this act, DoD has been able to enhance its internal capability to provide realistic and reliable cost estimates.
This story is part of Timeline: Congress crafts acquisition policy.
Inside the World's Biggest Buyer (Main Page)