In a “Statement of Administration Policy” released yesterday, the Trump Administration rightly criticized several bad provisions in the current House National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) bill that the Project On Government Oversight has previously argued against. Specifically, the Trump Administration criticized the bill’s support for the incredibly over-budget and behind-schedule Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility (MOX), the bill’s prohibition of the cost-saving Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, the bill’s use of the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) “slush fund” for long-term expenditures that belong in the base budget, and several provisions that would privatize and limit the government’s ability to recover unallowable costs found through contract audits. POGO applauds the White House for opposing these legislative provisions.
A recent amendment to the House NDAA has addressed one of the largest concerns related to contract auditing expressed by POGO and the White House—a requirement that at least a quarter of all incurred cost audits be outsourced to private companies. The amendment appears likely to pass. Another amendment, one that would get rid of the BRAC prohibition, failed with a vote of 175-248.
Separately, last year’s NDAA included a provision that privatized certain Department of Defense contract audits, a provision slated to take effect in late 2018. This year’s NDAA will likely repeal that provision as a result of a bipartisan amendment from Representatives Mike Conaway (R-TX) and Thomas Suozzi (D-NY), both of whom are former auditors. The amendment passed yesterday and was added to the bill. POGO wholeheartedly supports the amendment and hopes that the privatization language in the 2017 NDAA is fully repealed.