The House Armed Services Committee today passed H.R. 5013, the Implementing Management for Performance and Related Reforms to Obtain Value in Every (IMPROVE) Acquisition Act. During the markup, the committee unanimously approved an amendment offered by Representative Mike Turner (OH-3), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee, to strengthen training of military personnel in acquisition jobs.
The legislation, which was developed following a year-long study by the committee’s Defense Acquisition Reform Panel, builds upon the reforms enacted last year to the Department of Defense’s weapons systems procurement process. It would require the Pentagon to create a performance management system to consider shifting work away from contractors that do not meet cost standards, and would require department agencies to create measurements for success, such as schedule and cost objectives, and to ensure procurement organizations adhere to them.
The Turner amendment, which was included in the committee’s en bloc amendment, requires coordination between the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, Defense Acquisition University, and the Services to validate appropriate and effective acquisition curriculum. The amendment also requires Defense Acquisition University, whose Midwest Headquarters is located in Kettering, to work with the relevant professional schools of the Department of Defense, such as the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, to ensure best practices in curriculum development are applied in developing this new curriculum.
“Our effectiveness in the battlefield relies on our ability to foster innovation and technology, which have made American armed forces the best in the world,” said Rep. Turner. “Acquisition technologies such as the Airborne Laser Tested, Missile Defense Technologies, Remotely Piloted Aircraft and their sensor capabilities, and numerous programs out of the Aeronautical Systems Center and Air Force Materiel Command are directly responsible for saving the lives of our Airmen, Marines, Soldiers, and Sailors every day. For example, AFIT provides numerous advanced degrees to our servicemembers and many times develops curriculum rapidly to meet new demands. This expertise should be utilized to develop the curriculum necessary for these acquisition professionals.”
“We must ensure the Department of Defense is planning ahead and providing the necessary resources to train the next generation of acquisition professionals,” Rep. Turner continued. “My amendment will help ensure we build on current educational centers of excellence, support effective training programs and make them available to more of our service members so we can enhance the training of America’s fighting force, today and in the future.”