Thursday, September 03, 2009

Acquisition Professionals: the price of your soul?

As I have mentioned before, it is critical if you are in uniform to be in DC, not of DC. I also mention on a regular basis my firm belief that General and Flag Officers - and selected Col./CAPT positions should have a 5-year cooling off period before they can work with companies that provide services to the DoD. They get the big retirement checks for a reason.

The below is largely related to the civilian side of the house, though the soup is the same.

You know those influence diagrams our '2-shop folks draw up to show "who knows who" as we try to understand insurgent networks? I bet if you did one from the Pentagon, Congress, GE, RR, P&W, and the other major players, there would be a lot of (Ret.) in the mix. Just a guess.

If you really want to feel the need give yourself a bath with a wire brush, then head on over to RedState and read Streiff's bit on the mess WRT the F-35 engine plan(s) -- and how an organization can destroy its credibility by taking a few silver coins.
The world of Defense procurement is tough, if you’ve ever served as a program officer inside the Pentagon you know that funding projects is a bloodsport. Services and program officers compete relentlessly for resources and contractors, usually with a wink and a nod from inside the Pentagon, carry on the fight with the various appropriators when battles are lost in the Pentagon. Bismarck’s aphorism about laws and sausages can be just as aptly applied to the purchase of weapons systems.
What follows is a cautionary tale which illustrates the damage that can be done the reputation of a group which either actually sells its brand or casually dismisses the dangers of perceptions of conflicts of interest. This story is about a high stakes Defense procurement, the engine maker Pratt & Whitney and the watchdog group, Citizens Against Government Waste.
Read it all.

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