Cut Defense, But Don't Cut Out Small Business

Representing an industry that frequently feels the pain Deputy Defense Secretary Perry is addressing, I commend his efforts to cut costs by eliminating any unnecessary "specifications and contracting practices." But I hope that the Pentagon doesn't lose sight of the bottom line in its acquisition reform efforts: equal quality for less money.

Let Mr. Perry use his drive and energy to attack those useless lemon-pie-filling specifications, but leave small businesses to do what they do best: utilize skilled workers to provide high-quality specialized components at a fraction of the prime-contractor price.

Joe T. Franklin Jr.

Executive Director

American Gear Manufacturers Assn.

Alexandria, Va.

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