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Executive Mosaic’s Weekly GovCon Round-up: NDAA, DoD Purchasing Reform & More

Weekly Roundup
June 26 – June 30 2017

A Note From Our President & Founder Jim Garrettson

This week we saw the unveiling of the House Armed Services Committee’s $696.5 billion defense authorization bill. The draft, titled 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), was revealed on the 26th and asks for $28.5 billion more than President Trump’s defense request.

The House Armed Services Committee voted on Wednesday evening, resulting in an overwhelming show of support for the $696.5 billion defense spending budget for 2018. The Committee passed the bill 60-1, with the lone dissenting vote belonging to Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii,) who wants a more precise definition of U.S. involvement in Syria.

Now that the NDAA received the committee’s vote, it will move to the floor to be voted on by the entirety of the House of Representatives.

Committee chairman Mac Thornberry noted that the National Defense Authorization Act will take “significant steps toward rebuilding the military,” a 355-ship Naval fleet, and an additional $6 billion for shipbuilding costs. “There are many moving pieces to the broader budget picture that will develop over this year, but for today and for our responsibilities as the Armed Services Committee, it is important for us to put down this marker for what we need for national defense,” Thornberry said.

The HASC version of the NDAA, if passed, will authorize $621.5 billion in the base budget with an additional $75 billion in the wartime overseas contingency operations (OCO) account. In recent years Congress has subjected defense spending to an equal dollar-for-dollar amount with domestic spending, but the OCO account is exempt from the budget caps and that requirement. The OCO account would also fund $10 billion in base requirements.

A particularly significant aspect of the NDAA can be found in its proposed reforms to the Department of Defense’s purchasing system. This year’s NDAA would allow the DoD to purchase off-the-shelf products via online marketplaces such as Amazon. Chairman Thornberry argued that the Pentagon ought to be able to purchase commercial off-the-shelf products such as bottled water, treadmills and even MRI machines outside the GSA, where prices are typically 13% higher than the open market.

Supporters of the reform claim that the changes to DoD purchasing will allow the Department to act like a commercial buyer and take advantage of the lower price options available and will help move the government away from specialty products and conditions when purchasing off-the-shelf goods. However, industry experts had mixed reactions to Thornberry’s reform, citing concerns about its compatibility with several Congressional requirements and current federal protections.

For the Navy, NDAA calls for an additional five ships to the president’s request for eight: One more DDG-51 (for a total of three), two littoral combat ships (for a total of three), and adds a Puller-class expeditionary sea base.

For the Air Force, the NDAA proposes an additional seventeen Lockheed Martin-made F-35s (for a total of 87), eight Boeing-made Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets (for a total of 22), and six P-8A Poseidon aircraft (for a total of 13).

For the Army, the NDAA calls for 17,000 more troops and upgrades for 29 more Abrams tanks and 33 more Bradley Fighting Vehicles.

Clearly, the private sector will be an invaluable partner in assisting the federal government to reach these goals, should the NDAA win approval in the House and Senate.


Weekly Contract Awards
This week’s top GovCon contract awards. ULA, Northrop Grumman, L3 Technologies, Lockheed Martin, PAE, Parsons, Engility, Raytheon & more.
Textron Systems CEO Ellen Lord to Be Nominated as Pentagon Acquisition Chief
President Donald Trump intends to nominate Ellen Lord, president and CEO of Textron Systems, as undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics at the Defense Department.
Level 3 Vet Edward Morche to Serve as CenturyLink President of Strategic Enterprise, Federal and State Gov
Edward Morche, a 16-year Level 3 Communications veteran, will serve as president of strategic enterprise, federal government and state government business unit at CenturyLink once the Monroe, Louisiana-based telecommunications firm completes its pending $34 billion acquisition of Level 3.
Defense Contractors will be Held to Higher Cyber Standards
Defense contractors will soon be held to the same cybersecurity standards that the Defense Department has implemented  in recent years, according to a top IT official at the Pentagon.
Rear Adm. Samuel Paparo Assigned as Navy Carrier Strike Group 10 Commander
Rear Adm. Samuel Paparo, a U.S. Navy corporate fellow at Lockheed Martin, has been appointed to serve as commander of Carrier Strike Group 10 in Norfolk, Virginia.
Mac Curtis-Led Vencore Files for IPO
Vencore on Wednesday filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering to raise as much as $250 million.
Alan Estevez Joins Deloitte’s Federal Practice; Nathan Houser Comments
Alan Estevez joined Deloitte Consulting LLP’s federal practice as a national security strategy and logistics executive, where he will work with a range of clients to help innovate and transform their acquisition, logistics, supply chain and sustainment operations.
Navy Taps 4 Firms for Nonlethal Weapon R&D Services
Four companies will compete for task orders under a U.S. Navy contract to provide research and development support for nonlethal weapons systems across a range of capability functional and technology areas.
Leidos-AT&T Team to Help DISA Implement Software-Based Network; Anthony Robbins Comments
A team of Leidos and AT&T has received a task order from the Defense Information Systems Agency to help transform the Department of Defense Information Network to a software-based network.
State Dept Clears Australia’s $1.3B Modified Gulfstream Aircraft Purchase Request
The State Department has approved Australia’s request to buy up to five units of modified Gulfstream G550 aircraft from the U.S. under a potential $1.3 billion foreign military sales agreement.

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