Senate Limits Defense Procurement

Senate Limits Defense Procurement

Concerned with a lack of competition on governmentwide contracts, the Senate has added amendments to the defense authorization bill that would restrict the Defense Department's use of contracts let by other agencies.

The amendments require creating a management process that would approve using non-Defense contracts, but only those that are performance based.

The amendments are a sign of growing concern in Congress that procurement reforms have gone too far and may need to be scaled back, said a staffer of Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn. The staffer said the amendments likely will be scaled back when House and Senate members meet in conference committee to reconcile differences in the bill. The House version does not contain the amendments.

"There will probably be some midcourse correction," the staffer said. "But the result won't be something this strong."

Thompson will not be in the conference committee, but he has made his objections to the amendments known, the staffer said.

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