WASHINGTON – Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., Wednesday issued the following statement in response to the release of an independent Commission’s review of contracting practices in Iraq and Afghanistan, in which it suggests an improvement of Army contracting.

“While the Commission focused on the Army’s contracting failures in Iraq and Afghanistan, the lessons learned from its review could be applied across the federal government. The number of personnel we have to plan, negotiate, and oversee contracts has dwindled while the dollars spent on contracts have skyrocketed. This can only lead to waste and scandal.

“We must reverse the decline in qualified acquisition personnel and ensure that each federal agency, as the Commission has recommended for the Army, treats contracting as a core competency and not a back-office operation.

“We must also develop a cadre of highly trained acquisition personnel who can be deployed quickly to respond to the needs of a military operation abroad or to assist in the response to a natural disaster at home. The Collins-Lieberman contracting reform legislation, S.680, would address these urgent needs, and I hope that the full Senate will act on this legislation as quickly as possible.”