GAO Flags Pentagon's Weapons Systems Spending

As many in the defense industry are watching closely to see the details of a new budget under Defense Secretary Gates, Gene L. Dodaro - the head of the GAO - reminds us just how much the Pentagon has spent on weapons systems.

Dodaro, acting comptroller general of the oversight agency, recently said in congressional testimony that the Pentagon has obligated about $200 billion in fiscal 2008 for contractor services - more than double the amount it spent a decade ago.
Meanwhile, the size of the acquisition workforce has shrunk, leaving less oversight of projects as their costs rise and performance falls.

In his 25-page report, Dodaro said the Pentagon's major weapons system programs "continue to take longer to develop, cost more, and deliver fewer quantities and capabilities than originally planned."

He went on to say that Congress and the Pentagon end up shifting money "to and from programs - undermining well-performing programs to pay for poorly performing ones."
Dodaro said the Defense Department "does not prioritize weapon system investments, and its processes for matching war fighter needs with resources are fragmented and broken."

It sounds like there's more and more of an urgent need for the Pentagon to look at what it is spending money on and what it is getting in return.

--Dana Hedgpeth

By Sara Goo |  February 18, 2009; 7:15 AM ET defense , gao
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And you are surprised?

Posted by: darmar40 | February 18, 2009 10:17 AM

"It sounds like there's more and more of an urgent need for the Pentagon to look at what it is spending money on and what it is getting in return."

No. It's time for the Pentagon to shut down ALL these exotic "weapons" (actually, "profits") systems- and institute criminal prosecution proceedings, and start recovering the stolen billions.

Posted by: woodyag | February 18, 2009 10:50 AM

"It sounds like there's more and more of an urgent need for the Pentagon to look at what it is spending money on and what it is getting in return."

No. It's time for the Pentagon to shut down ALL these exotic "weapons" (actually, "profits") systems- and institute criminal prosecution proceedings, and start recovering the stolen billions.

Posted by: woodyag | February 18, 2009 10:51 AM

The acquisition work force is not only smaller, but less well trained with every year that goes by. Contracting Officers, and Contract Specialists are not considered mission critical and receive little support. there needs to be better training, a better career path, and stronger entry level requirements. Too often COs rise from administrative jobs--you need well-rounded college graduates to understand the complexities of law, accounting, and management required of acquisition specialists.

Posted by: rubyslipperstwo | February 19, 2009 11:51 AM

look,

exotic systems, platforms and contracts aren't the problem... accountability is. I want our people in the service and in other branches to have the coolest, newest and best tools to do thier job. BUT when people are mismanaging $$$ for kickbacks and ineptness, that's a problem

Posted by: i-will | February 19, 2009 8:05 PM

De-fund and zero these items out NOW.

Posted by: bs2004 | February 24, 2009 5:05 PM

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