Owens Votes To Streamline Defense Spending, Reduce Waste

Press Release

By:  Bill Owens
Date: April 29, 2010
Location: Washington, DC

Owens Votes To Streamline Defense Spending, Reduce Waste

Yesterday, Congressman Bill Owens voted to pass H.R. 5013, the IMPROVE Acquisition Act of 2010, a bill that builds a better accountability system for national defense spending. The legislation, which passed 417-3, also includes an amendment authored by Owens to establish a Blue Ribbon Commission on eliminating barriers to contracting with the Department of Defense and its supply centers. The panel will be composed of small and large business owners, selected by each of the Branch Secretaries, including former Congressman John McHugh, and will help chart a clear path for small businesses looking to begin contracting with the DOD or grow their existing operations.

"This bill will make it easier for small businesses to land contracts and continue to hire and expand," Owens said. "It is integral to the economic health of Upstate New York that Washington provides every opportunity for success to our small business owners, and this bill moves in that direction."

The IMPROVE Act overhauls the defense acquisition system and cleans up waste through four key common sense reforms: building a better accountability system, improving the management of the acquisition workforce, creating an auditable financial management system at DOD, and strengthening the industrial base. The legislation is estimated to save $135 billion taxpayer dollars over the next five years.

H.R. 5013 also reforms the DOD's financial management system to make it auditable so that American taxpayers know where their money is going and whether it is properly accounted for by requiring DOD to develop meaningful consequences for success and failure in financial management in order to achieve a clean audit by September 2017. It also places a higher priority on achieving best value for purchases rather than passing the money out the door to a contractor, meeting arbitrary benchmarks for spending.

"For too long, we have seen unnecessary waste, fraud and abuse in the DOD's acquisition system spiral out of control, burdening both our soldiers and civilians. This bill will cut wasteful spending, and save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. This is a step in the right direction to cut irresponsible spending and to make sure we don't pass these deficits on to our children and grandchildren." added Owens.