House passes defense bill that would reduce use of contractors

Funding secured for insourcing, supplying troops and cutting wasteful spending

The House of Representatives has approved more than $636 billion in Defense Department spending for fiscal 2010, and the measure would increase oversight to reduce waste and fraud.

The spending bill, approved Dec. 16,  has provisions to reduce spending on contractor outsourcing and improve access controls, and an extension to Feb. 28, 2010, for the Small Business Administration to offer financial breaks to small-business lenders and borrowers.

The bill would spend $5 billion to bring “critical department functions” previously outsourced to defense contractors under the DOD umbrella, a move estimated to save $44,000 per year for each position converted from contract to federal civilian, the measure said.

The legislation would require DOD to bring in-house the task of checking and issuing the Common Access Cards that grant entry to secured facilities and networks across DOD. According to a summary of the bill, the Appropriations Committee found that about 212,000 government contractors were mistakenly issued CACs.

Also, the measure would allocate $288 million for DOD's inspector general to increase oversight of DOD acquisition and contracting activities.

The bill would also provide $104 billion for procurement and $80.5 billion for research and development to cultivate, test and field weapons and equipment to support service members. Some $248.5 million will fund electronic warfare defense, and $2.29 billion will go to development of the restructured Future Combat Systems program.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency would receive $3 billion for research and development programs, less than requested due to “chronic under-execution,” the summary said.

The bill can be found here, and the summary can be found here.

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a staff writer covering military networks for Defense Systems.

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