President Barack Obama signed legislation introduced by Congressman Ike Skelton into law last week.
The Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act is meant to strengthen accountability standards for Defense Department purchases for military operations.
Skelton in his weekly column on May 17 said that DOD cost overruns reached more than $296 billion on 96 major weapons contracts as of 2009.
“While this amount represents a cumulative cost over decades, it nonetheless is more than the amount spent on salaries and health care for the entire American military for two full years,” his column stated.
The bill did not receive a single no vote in either house. Skelton said the bill was crafted to increase competition in the acquisition process and eliminate conflicts of interest. The bill also creates a checks and balances system to catch changes to contracts early on. The legislation creates a post to oversee the operations and will report back to the DOD and Congress.
Photo: During a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden last week, President Barack Obama gives House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton a pen which was used to sign into law SB 454, the Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009.
Standing behind President Obama, from left to right: Congressman Rob Andrews (D-NJ); House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member John McHugh (R-NY); Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI); House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton; and Congressman Michael Conaway (R-TX). (Submitted photo)