Government marches on, to nowhere! The House Appropriations Committee has issued a report strongly criticizing the Air Force and the new Space Force for its failure to reform in any way its contract acquisition management, even though that was the prime reason Congress created the Space Force in the first place.
The report dedicates an entire page to detailing the committee’s dissatisfaction with what it sees as foot-dragging on space acquisition reform — which was one of the primary congressional rationales for the creation of the new space service in the first place. Indeed, the [appropriations committee] reiterates: “The Committee believes the Space Force was established to bring greater attention and focus to fixing its acquisition issues because previous attempts to do so did not produce lasting results.”
The [committee’s] concerns include that that Department of the Air Force — which oversees the Space Force much as the Navy oversees the Marine Corp — still has no clear plan for creating a separate management chain for space acquisition. Similar concerns were voiced at a May hearing by both the chair and ranking members of the HAC defense subcommittee, Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., and Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Calif., respectively.
None of this should be a surprise. The reason the Space Force was advocated by some reformers was to get it out from under Air Force control and allow it to decide for itself what it needed. The belief was that this would streamline contracting and project development.
The fear, which I expressed repeatedly, was that the swamp in Washington would instead use this as an opportunity not to streamline operations but to create a whole new bureaucracy. That is standard operating procedure for government bureaucracies. Any time Congress has mandated a new agency designed to reduce bureaucracy it has for more than a century instead led to a larger bureaucracy, with nothing streamlined.
It appears the latter is what is now happening with the Space Force.
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