On March 24, Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, released the statement below following this morning’s Subcommittee hearing examining the Coast Guard’s Acquisition Process:
“The first hearing I convened during my tenure as the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation two years ago examined the mismanagement of the Coast Guard’s $24 billion Deepwater program intended to modernize the service’s surface and air assets. As confirmed at this morning’s hearing, the Coast Guard has taken significant steps since 2007 to improve the oversight and management of its acquisition programs and to position itself to effectively manage contractors and protect taxpayers’ investments in Coast Guard assets.
“I was very pleased to learn of the agreement signed today by the Coast Guard and the Integrated Coast Guard Systems team to formally remove any option for additional award term periods or the renewal of current contract award terms beyond January 24, 2011. As the Commandant promised last April, the Coast Guard is assuming the lead systems integration function, which is appropriately placed with the federal government.
“Admiral Blore also confirmed this morning that the costs of the Deepwater acquisition series as currently projected will exceed the $24 billion figure contained in the last Deepwater acquisition program baseline. I applaud the Coast Guard’s movement toward the management of the individual procurements of the Deepwater series on an asset-by-asset basis and trust that this process will enable the Coast Guard to more effectively manage costs to avoid additional overruns.
“It is clear that the Coast Guard is moving miles ahead in improving its management of the acquisition process, and the bipartisan Coast Guard Acquisition Reform Act of 2009, H.R. 1665, that I introduced yesterday with my colleagues Congressmen James L. Oberstar and John L. Mica, Chairman and Ranking Member, respectively, of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and Congressman Frank A. LoBiondo, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, will build upon this foundation and institutionalize best practices into the Coast Guard’s acquisition directorate.”