Gates orders changes to contracting procedure

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  • Defense Secretary Robert Gates could be in for a real battle over his latest plan to cut Defense spending. He announced today a plan to focus on greater competition. He wants the Pentagon to pull in suppliers from outside the defense industry, while discouraging frivolous contract protests. The plan also calls for simplifying paperwork requirements, and getting programs in place faster. The Defense Secretary said today that his plan will ensure real growth in defense spending of at least 1 percent.
  • Air Force leaders will have to make some tough decisions, as the nation’s tough economy continues to put more and more pressure on defense spending. That was the message we heard yesterday from Air Force Secretary Michael Donley. He gave his State of the Air Force address at the Air Force Association Air and Space Conference and Technology Expo. Perhaps in recognition of the cost-cutting announcement we’re getting today from Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Donley stressed good fiscal stewardship. He called on Air Force leaders to improve acquisition practices. To do that, he called on acquisition workers to be “better negotiators, to know our internal business imperatives, to understand our contracts, to know our industrial base and to respect that every dollar is an Air Force dollar, and a taxpayer dollar.” Other changes are on the horizon. Donley noted that the Air Force is looking to streamline its organization and command structure. He said, the years ahead will include reform in weapons and material readiness.

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