Pentagon Procurement: Now Congress Is The Spendthrift

Defense Secretary William J. Perry came to the Pentagon last year with a straightforward mission. He wanted to clean up a purchasing mess that defense experts say causes up to 40 cents of every acquisition dollar to be spent on paperwork. But despite strong business support, Perry's reforms are hitting stiff opposition on Capitol Hill. While Congress will likely pass a procurement overhaul this year, it will be a pale shadow of what Perry hoped for. "I'm trying to maintain my optimism," says a senior Pentagon official. "But each week we see more evidence of the bill being watered down a little further."

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