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BY AN EXTENSIVE ARRAY OF POSITIONS.
FOR INSTANCE, THE BILL CONTAINS SUCH SWEEPING TERMS AS "ANY
ACQUISITION ACTION RELATING TO THE CONTRACT," AND "MANAGEMENT
OF THE PROCUREMENT PROGRAM."
THIS LANGUAGE INVITES, IN TURN,
SWEEPING COVERAGE OF FUNCTIONS AND POSITIONS IN ANY LIST TO BE
FORWARDED TO THE CONGRESS.
I WOULD ALSO NOTE THAT, DUE TO DIFFERENCES IN THE MILITARY
COMPOSITION, THE FUNCTION AND POSITION LISTS FORWARDED TO THE
CONGRESS WOULD NOT BE COMPATIBLE FOR PURPOSES OF COMPARISON.
AS A FORMER PENTAGON EMPLOYEE WHO LABORED TO COMPLY WITH SOME
OF THE MANY REPORTING REQUIREMENTS LEVIED ON THE DEPARTMENT OF
IN ANY EFFORT TO SET REASONABLE BOUNDARIES ON THE ISSUE,
ONE SHOULD TRY TO FIRST ENVISION THE "WORST CASE."
IDENTIFY SUCH A CASE AS A DOD PROGRAM MANAGER FOR A MAJOR
WEAPON SYSTEM LEAVING HIS POSITION ONE DAY AND GOING TO WORK
FOR THE CONTRACTOR WHO PRODUCES THE SYSTEM THE NEXT DAY.
AN ARGUMENT CAN BE MADE THAT EVEN SUCH AN OBVIOUS CASE SHOULD
BE ACCEPTABLE IF THE DOD EMPLOYEE WERE HIRED BY A SUBSIDIARY OF
CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST WOULD REMAIN AS A DETERRENT.
I PERSONALLY WOULD HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH LEGISLATION WHICH
PROHIBITED THE "WORST CASE" TYPE OF "REVOLVING DOOR."
BASED UPON MY
CAN SEE THE NEED
"APPOINTIVE" PEOPLE FROM THE PRIVATE SECTOR BROUGHT INTO THE GOVERNMENT. FIRST, THE PRESIDENT MUST HAVE HIS REPRESENTATIVES
AT THE TOP AGENCY POSITIONS, SUCH AS CABINET OFFICERS, AS WELL
AS AT CERTAIN KEY POSITIONS REPORTING TO THEM.
SIZE OF THE FEDERAL BUREAUCRACY, THERE ARE IN FACT RELATIVELY
FEW OF THESE POSITIONS. SECOND. I WOULD LIKE TO EMPHASIZE THAT
THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS THE NEW IDEAS AND CONCEPTS THESE PEOPLE
BRING WITH THEM.
AT THE SAME TIME. WE MUST NOT CUT OFF THE AVENUES BY WHICH
CHALLENGING TASK, CONSIDERING THE GOVERNMENT PAY SCALES AND THE
WORKLOAD THE APPOINTIVE OFFICIALS MUST CARRY, WITHOUT MAKING IT
DIFFICULT FOR THEM TO RETURN TO THE TYPE OF WORK THEY HAVE
NOT FILLING CERTAIN POSITIONS IN THE PENTAGON, HE REPLIED THAT.
WITH THE GROUND RULES NOW EXTANT. HE COULD HIRE ONLY YOUNG EXECUTIVES WITH LIMITED EXPERIENCE, OR OLDER EXECUTIVES SUCH AS
HIMSELF WHO WERE RETIRING FROM INDUSTRY AND WERE WILLING TO
TAKE ON THE RIGORS OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYMENT AS A GESTURE OF
GRATITUDE TO THEIR COUNTRY.
THIS DEMONSTRATES VERY GRAPHICALLY
THE ISSUE WE ARE DISCUSSING TODAY.
ADDRESSED IN H. R. 2554. THAT BILL ALLOWS THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE TO GRANT AN EXEMPTION WHERE THE DUTIES OF A POSITION
PROBLEMS, SUCH AS PRICING AND MANAGEMENT OF SPARE PARTS, HAVE
EMPHASIZED THE ACUTE NEED FOR HIGH CALIBER PERSONNEL WITHIN THE
H. R. 2554 WOULD MAKE THAT PROBLEM MORE
AS A REPORT PREPARED FOR PRESIDENT-ELECT JOHN F. KENNEDY
"THE PRIME KEY TO THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE
PROCESS IS THE SELECTION OF QUALIFIED PERSONNEL.
GOOD MEN CAN
MAKE POOR LAWS WORKABLE; POOR MEN WILL WREAK HAVOC WITH GOOD
IN MY VIEW, THE INTERCHANGE OF KNOWLEDGE, IDEAS, MANAGEMENT
PHILOSOPHY, WHICH ACCOMPANIES
SO-CALLED "REVOLVING DOOR" IS GOOD FOR THE GOVERNMENT AND GOOD
FACING, WE HAD BETTER DO ALL WE CAN TO MAKE THE BEST POSSIBLE
FAINT OF HEART, NOT FOR THE TIDY-MINDED, AND IN THESE DAYS OF
SETBACKS, AND RESILIENCE OF SPIRIT EQUAL TO THE FRUSTRATIONS OF
THAT CONCLUDES MY PREPARED STATEMENT, MR. CHAIRMAN.
BE GLAD TO RESPOND TO
QUESTIONS YOU OR MEMBERS OF THE
SUBCOMMITTEE MAY HAVE.
Mr. GLICKMAN. First of all, I want to thank you very much for your testimony. I think it is very useful to have the perspective of your industry in this regard. But let me ask you just a couple of questions.
Why do you think the public seems to be so ready to believe that government officials use their offices for personal gain?
That is a clear public belief. And I must tell you I come from a defense district and I would say a substantial majority of my constituents believe that.
Mr. Witt. I would say mainly through the media. There is an old saying: never argue with a man who buys ink by the barrel.
Mr. GLICKMAN. I have heard that slogan before, and since I am in a one newspaper town I respect that slogan. But I am also prone not to scapegoat, either. I find, for example, that scapegoating the media, while it is fun to do, the media is a little bit like Members of Congress are, they pick up on what is out there. And it is out there anyway, Mr. Witt. It didn't take the New York Times or the Washington Post to invent it.
I think, you know, the perception problem is there. It is not all invented by the national media.
Mr. WITT. I agree.
Mr. GLICKMAN. And often laws are written to deal with perceptions because perceptions are reality often in a democratic society.
Mr. Witt. But your question to me was why do the American people believe this?
Mr. GLICKMAN. Why do the people believe this? Yes.
Mr. Witt. When you see on TV and in the press, and everybody that relies on the media, instant communication, to keep them informed, then as long as they like to pick up on those things, and as long as Herblock shows the Secretary of Defense with a commode seat around his head, everybody thinks that is just as funny as hell, this is the pervasive sort of thing that goes on.
Mr. GLICKMAN. Do you think there is some reality to support some of the things that are in the media?
Mr. Witt. Obviously. Oh, yes, no question about it, and that is why I am back to the 15 million actions. You are always going to have something wrong. You can find 150,000 cases. They haven't even talked about 150,000 cases.
Mr. GLICKMAN. But don't you think that in this era of very, very significantly growing defense budgets, when a lot of other aspects of the Federal Government have been cut back, that people are concerned about what appears to be waste in the system?
Mr. Witt. Particularly when they don't understand the system. Mr. GLICKMAN. Well, they are concerned about waste, period, wherever it exists. I mean, in the sixties and seventies, there was waste in the Food Stamp Program; in the eighties, it is waste in the defense budget. People don't like waste in our budget wherever it exists.
Mr. Witt. I agree.
Mr. Witt. But when you try to explain a system as big as the DOD procurement system, there are 4,000 statutes, Mr. Chairman, affecting DOD procurement. Four thousand statutes reference DOD procurements in one way or another. There are many, many limitations on DOD procurement that no other kinds of procurement have. 13 You have got the small business set-asides-buy your jewel bearings from North Dakota, because it is written in the procurement laws. You can go down the whole list of them.
Mr. GLICKMAN. Well, I am not saying that Congress isn't partially to blame for those things. But I think that the underlying issue here now, getting back to the point on revolving door, is that do people, either high-level folks in the service who are responsible for procurement or some Government appointees, consciously seek out employment or are sought out by industry because of their procurement responsibilities, and then share what they have learned and help their new employer and benefit financially as a result of it? That is, are the stories about the revolving door true?
Mr. Witt. Well, when you say these stories, there are cases which I consider pretty rank. This is where a procurement officer for a certain program or a program manager for a weapons system program will quit one day and go to work the next day for the contractor in that program. I think that is a very, very rank case. But I say here in my statement that is one of the extremes.
Mr. GLICKMAN. That is probably against the law right now.
Mr. Witt. I believe it is, sure. I mean that is the way I would interpret it. I am saying that, and you are also making my point, that the rank ones usually come under the present regulations, which makes me wonder do you need more regulations.
Mr. GLICKMAN. If they are enforced. I think that is the issue, they are not enforced.
Mr. WITT. Well, that is another issue.
Mr. GLICKMAN. It is an important issue because without enforcement all the regulations don't mean anything.
Mr. WITT. Well, I have just been going through looking at legislation on the Civil Fraud Penalties Act, and so forth.
Mr. GLICKMAN. That is next week here.