15 September 2010

DoD Starting to Shop Smarter

In the quest to manage a shrinking budget, the Pentagon is looking for ways to buy smarter, and downsize.

The Defense Department has unveiled a surprising new plan to start reining in its supersized budget: After nine years of unbridled war spending, the military will finally start bargain hunting.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters at a Pentagon news conference Tuesday that the military will begin factoring in affordability before committing to a purchase. Any contracts exceeding $1 billion will be scrutinized in particular for ways to keep costs down. And when looking to spend money, the military will try to do more comparison shopping, Gates said.
The initiatives are part of Gates' goal to find $100 billion in budget fat in the next five years, money that he says is needed to care for U.S. troops and modernize weapons.
Such steps may seem like common sense in most American households, now trying to survive the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. But the Defense Department has mostly escaped any belt-tightening in the past decade, as it committed tens of thousands of troops to Iraq and Afghanistan. Lawmakers in Congress, meanwhile, were eager to support the troops.


Step one appears to be weeding out 'unnecessary' Army contractors.

Army commanders have been told to list the contractors who serve them, rank them by usefulness and name the ones who can be let go.
The order is contained in a Sept. 2 memo from Army Undersecretary Joseph Westphal that also gives 14 other tasks meant to boost Army efficiency.
Distributed to regional commands and functional organizations such as Training and Doctrine Command, the memo also lists the savings that various commands are expected to produce from 2012 to 2016.
It’s part of the service’s effort to meet Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ order to “reduce duplication, overhead, excess, and instill a culture of savings and restraint,” Westphal wrote in the memo.
Gates provided more details of his plan to save $100 billion over five years on Tuesday. The undersecretary has been tapped by Army Secretary John McHugh to lead the service’s efficiency drive.


By: Brant

1 comment:

EastwoodDC said...

I found this recently, somewhat relevant:

http://gizmodo.com/5637188/is-this-the-reason-why-most-military-projects-go-over-budget