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House Hearing, 111th Congress - DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS FOR 2011 Wednesday, January 20, 2010. ACQUISITION CONTRACTING WITNESSES PAUL FRANCIS, MANAGING DIRECTOR, ACQUISITION AND SOURCING MANAGEMENT TEAM, GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE MICHAEL GOLDEN, MANAGING ASSOCIATE GENERAL COUNSEL FOR PROCUREMENT LAW, GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE BILL WOODS, DIRECTOR, ACQUISITION AND SOURCING MANAGEMENT TEAM, GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE Chairman Murtha's Opening Statement Mr. Murtha. The hearing will come to order. We welcome the witnesses, and I want to say that the problem we have been having is the acquisition process. I don't say it is broken, but the bigger contracts that we have had, we have had some real problems with them. We talked a little bit before the hearing started about some of the protests that have been sustained. You have got to go into some detail with us about what you see if there is something we can do to help this situation. You made some suggestions that I would like you to make officially about the problems you see in this area so that we can try to resolve them from a fiscal standpoint. Mr. Frelinghuysen. Comments of Mr. Frelinghuysen Mr. Frelinghuysen. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Welcome, gentlemen. Would you like a motion, Mr. Chairman? Mr. Murtha. I would like a motion. motion to hold executive session Mr. Frelinghuysen. I move that those portions of the hearing today which involve proprietary material be held in executive session because of the sensitivity of the material to be discussed. Mr. Murtha. All in favor will say aye. Without objection, aye. Opening Statement of Mr. Francis Mr. Francis. Thank you. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Frelinghuysen. I appreciate the opportunity to be here today to talk about a wide range of topics: weapons systems, contracts, workforce, bid protests. I have with me Mike Golden on my right, who is the head of GAO's bid protest unit. On my left is Mr. Bill Woods, who is a contracting expert. I think among us we must have pretty close to 100 years of experience. PURSUIT OF VERY HIGH CAPABILITY I just have a couple of remarks to make in the beginning, and we will get very quickly to the questions. The condition that we have today has been decades in the making. I think in the area of weapons systems, we are looking at the effect of cumulative commitments to pursue very high capabilities, and we have accepted the high risk associated with those. We have also vastly expanded our capability to meet near-term commitments, but we have done that largely through contracting out for services. I think you could describe what we have been doing in the near term as institutionalizing expediency, and that is something that we have to look at. We have had, over time, the money and the flexibility to do so, but the question we ask ourselves today is, are we where we want to be? And I think the answer is, no, I don't think it is a sustainable path that we are on. If you look at weapons systems Mr. Chairman, cost growth and schedule delays associated with high-risk weapons are denying the warfighters the capabilities they need on time, and certainly in the quantities they need. CONTRACTOR WORK FORCE When we have done contingency contracting and service contracting to expand our near-term capabilities, we have done so through the process of thousands of decisions. So what we have today is a very large contractor workforce that is largely been put together on an ad hoc basis. It hasn't been strategic at all. Today it is still hard for the Department of Defense to say how many contractors it has, where they are, and there are a lot of questions about what roles we play. Our own organic government acquisition workforce has stayed relatively stable in the past few years, and if you go back in history, has declined significantly. There is a move afoot to increase the acquisition workforce, but I think a key decision

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