Policy Bill Aims to Tame Cost-Plus Contracts

WASHINGTON — Responding to fears the US military’s technological superiority is at risk, the Senate Armed Services Committee advanced an annual defense policy bill that would open competition to commercial industry, seen as a spur to innovation and cost-efficiency.

The marquee change, if the SASC’s version of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act passes Congress and is signed by the president, is the proposed closure of the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer’s office and reassignment of its duties to two new defense undersecretaries for innovation and acquisitions management. It also contains far-reaching language to curb a major concern of SASC Chairman John McCain: cost-plus contracts.

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