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Coast Guard Acquisition Reform Act Of 2009

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Coast Guard Acquisition Reform Act Of 2009


Mr. LoBIONDO. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I rise in support of H.R. 1665, the Coast Guard Acquisition Reform Act of 2009. I'd like to thank the chairman of the full committee, Mr. Oberstar. I'd like to thank Mr. Cummings and Mr. Mica for their help in moving and developing this important legislation. H.R. 1665 builds upon several provisions which passed the House during the 110th Congress and includes new language which I believe greatly improves the legislation.

Like those bills in the previous Congress, the bill would reform the service's acquisition programs and procedures, prohibit the continued use of private-sector lead systems integrators, and establish a Chief Acquisition Officer to oversee all the Coast Guard's acquisition projects.

H.R. 1665 would also require the Coast Guard to take several steps during the planning, production and acceptance period to enhance the Coast Guard's control over all parts of the process. Under the programmatic changes made by this bill, the Coast Guard will be able to use all of its many technical authorities to ensure that assets delivered meet the service's specifications and needs.

Lastly, the bill includes two new provisions which will improve the Coast Guard's ability to staff acquisition positions with the most qualified candidates. The first is limited direct hiring authority which is based on existing authority available to the other Armed Services. Under this language, the Coast Guard will be able to directly hire civilian personnel with the needed acquisition expertise. The second will allow Coast Guard promotion boards to consider the need for specialized skills and qualifications of Coast Guard officers in areas like acquisitions. This language will provide Coast Guardsmen with the opportunity to specialize in limited duty areas, such as acquisition, without negatively impacting their promotional potential in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I support this bill and urge other Members to do the same.

I reserve the balance of my time.


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