Over 3 years ago, Congress granted limited acquisition authority (LAA)--subject to delegation by the Secretary of Defense--to U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) for a 3-year period to expedite development and acquisition of certain warfighter equipment. Congress directed GAO to report on JFCOM LAA implementation. GAO's report, issued in November 2005, said JFCOM finished five LAA projects and was working on a sixth project, and that JFCOM had experienced difficulty finding funding to develop, acquire, and sustain LAA projects. Last year, Congress extended LAA through September 2008 and again directed GAO to report on LAA. This report updates the status of JFCOM LAA efforts since the authority was enacted and key LAA challenges.
Matter for Congressional Consideration
|In light of our recommendations, DOD's response and the fact that DOD has provided Congress with a fiscal year 2008 legislative proposal that would make the LAA statute permanent, Congress may wish to delay its consideration of making JFCOM LAA permanent until DOD has informed Congress of the results of the recommended assessment and any associated decisions. This should not impair JFCOM LAA, as DOD plans to complete its assessment by the fourth quarter of 2007 and LAA, as currently enacted, extends through September 2008.||This matter for congressional consideration is closed. DOD forwarded Congress proposed Authorization language that would make the Joint Forces Command's Limited Acquisition Authority (LAA) permanent. The May 11, 2007 House Armed Services Committee report on the fiscal year 2008 National Defense Authorization Act (report 110-146) did not make the LAA permanent but allows the Commander of the U.S Joint Forces Command to provide funding for the maintenance of items procured under LAA. JFCOM can exercise this funding aspect of the authority for no more than two years on any given system. In the Senate report on the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2008 (report 110-77, June 5, 2007), Congress makes provisions so that the Joint Forces Command's Limited Acquisition Authority would not expire before DOD has an opportunity to reassess LAA and report to Congress, in accordance with GAO's matter for congressional consideration, which this Senate report references. The Senate did not make LAA permanent.|
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Defense||1. As DOD considers expanding JRAC's coverage, the Secretary of Defense should reassess the role of the JFCOM LAA in light of the expanding JRAC process, and determine whether and how JFCOM LAA should play a role in meeting joint urgent needs.|
|Department of Defense||2. As DOD considers expanding JRAC's coverage, the Secretary of Defense should, to the extent JFCOM LAA is to continue to play a role in meeting joint urgent needs, assess and resolve, as appropriate, the funding, coordination, and delegation challenges identified in this report|
|Department of Defense||3. As DOD considers expanding JRAC's coverage, the Secretary of Defense should inform Congress of the results of the assessment and any resultant decisions in time for Congress to consider them in its deliberations on the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2008.|