Better buying power in Defense spending
On March 28, 2011, the federal Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan (Commission) held a hearing to examine the Department of Defense’s progress in its efficiency initiative to save money on contracting. Under Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter was the sole witness.
The Commissioners examined Dr. Carter's "Better Buying Power" initiative, which aims to improve contracting cost and process efficiencies, increase competition and incentives, and enhance acquisition tradecraft. Dr. Carter testified DoD’s approximately $700 billion base-plus-wartime budget includes $400 billion for contracts, evenly split between goods like weapons, and services like security and transportation. Discussing the progress of Dr. Carter’s efficiency initiative, the Commission probed the challenges and underlying problems impeding cost-saving measures. Methods and solutions to these obstacles were explored. Dr. Carter also offered his perspective on the Commission’s recommendations from its second interim report, titled, "At what risk?" He agreed with 19 of the report’s 32 recommendations and endorsed the intent but not the proposed mechanisms of four others; he said nine were outside his area of responsibility.
The hearing began at 10 a.m. in Room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, DC. Commission Co-Chair Christopher Shays presided.
Transcript: March 28, 2011 hearing transcript