Contractors Respond Warily to Pentagon Vow to Preserve Industrial Base
February 8, 2012
Just days before the expected Feb. 13 release of President Obama's fiscal 2013 budget, the Defense Department's top weapons buyer sought to reassure nervous contractors that the White House will protect vital industries even as it implements major cuts in procurement and personnel spending.
Frank Kendall, acting undersecretary of Defense for acquisitions, technology and logistics, told a Monday forum at the Center for Strategic and International Studies his highest priorities include beefing up the federal acquisition workforce, strengthening the military industrial base, preserving technical superiority, and buying into only affordable and dependable programs.
He also suggested that the Pentagon might intervene to help key contractors that are struggling in the current economy. "When people see that there's a supplier who is in trouble, or they're in trouble themselves, they need to come let us know," he said, according to an account in National Journal . "When they look out and see their business base eroding, or see that they're not going to be viable for whatever reason, we need to know that. Then we can do assessments that look at whether we need to maintain competition there, whether it is a nice capability that we need to continue to support -- how we might intervene."