Defense Secretary Robert Gates pledged to give more personal attention to procurement and acquisition challenges as he continues his work under the Obama administration. Here is what he had to say during a media briefing yesterday:
I suppose it should go without saying, but I have no intention of being a caretaker secretary. Our challenges, from the budget to acquisition and procurement reform, war strategy, care of wounded warriors, meeting the needs of warfighters, decisions on important modernization and capitalization projects and more, all demand the personal attention of the secretary of Defense and they will get it.
When asked what immediate changes will be seen under the Obama administration, Gates again said procurement and acquisition reform would be â€œa high priority given our experience of the past year or so, actually, some would say, a lot longer.â€
And later, talking about major acquisitions:
I think, when it comes to some of the big modernization and capitalization programs, that it would be a mistake to try and bypass the system. The key is to figure out a way to make the system work better. And I think that will be a high priority.
Contracting reform is also a key Defense agenda item for Gatesâ€™ new boss. So as far as giving acquisition attention, the pair seems to be in agreement.