Sealy FMTV Task Force Calls on Pentagon to Apply Defense Spending Bill Standards to Settle U.S. Army Military Truck Dispute

December 21, 2009

HOUSTON, Dec. 21 /PRNewswire/ — The Sealy FMTV Task Force is calling on the U.S. Department of Defense to apply weapons acquisition overhaul standards set by Congress and signed by President Obama earlier this year to the process that will decide which contractor should build the Army’s Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles.

The weapons acquisition overhaul bill, signed in to law May 22, 2009, empowers the Pentagon to bridle wasteful spending. The measure, which in part is in response to a Government Accountability Office study of 95 major defense projects where cost overruns of nearly $300 million were found, is designed to make defense acquisition more cost efficient, to increase competition, and strengthen oversight and accountability.

“We urge the Pentagon to use the high principles set by this reform, apply them to the Army’s FMTV program and let the best defense contractor win,” said Lance LaCour, Co-Chairman of the Task Force and CEO of Katy Area Economic Development Council. “Our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq deserve the best and safest vehicles and American taxpayers deserve a well-run, efficient program that will not be hampered by cost overruns.”

Through a rigorous investigation, the GAO recently renounced the Army’s awarding of the FMTV contract to Oshkosh Corp. for being deeply flawed. The GAO has called for a new selection decision.

The investigation found that the Army failed to properly compare Oshkosh to the current builder of the FMTV, BAE Systems. Among its many findings, the GAO said Oshkosh did not have the proper facilities or equipment to build the heavily armored vehicles, which have been successfully manufactured at a Houston-area facility for 17 years that is owned and operated by BAE.

Had defense procurement reform measures been in place at the time, there would have been stringent oversight of the process and the contractors would have been better scrutinized for their overall capabilities and the realistic nature of their bidding price. These reforms are not scheduled to be put into place until late 2010.

“This is a prime example of why defense acquisition reform received such overwhelming bi-partisan support,” said Kim Meloneck, Sealy Economic Development Corp., referring to how the measure passed unanimously in both the House and Senate before being signed into law by the president. “A new Army procurement chief should be in place in days so there’s no reason to wait. Let’s apply these principles now and make sure it’s done right.”

The U.S. Army has until mid February to announce its decision on the $3 billion contract.

The Sealy Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles Task Force is comprised of civic leaders, citizens and business owners who support the effort to keep the U.S. Army’s Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles contract in Texas. The Task Force is a joint effort of the City of Sealy, Austin County, Sealy EDC, Katy Area EDC, CenterPoint Energy, Greater Houston Partnership, Governor Rick Perry, U.S. Representative Michael McCaul, U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson, U.S. Senator John Cornyn and Texas State Representative Lois W. Kolkhorst, Austin County. For more information go to www.defendtexasjobs.org or visit our Facebook page, Defend Texas Jobs.

The Greater Houston Partnership is the primary advocate of Houston’s business community and is dedicated to building regional economic prosperity. It represents 10 counties: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, San Jacinto and Waller. With about 2,000 Member organizations, the Partnership represents approximately one-fifth of the region’s work force. Visit the Greater Houston Partnership at houston.org.

SOURCE Sealy FMTV Task Force; Greater Houston Partnership

Source: newswire

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