By MANDY SMITHBERGER
In her latest Solutions column for Truthout, POGO founder Dina Rasor echoes our concerns about ignored testers and programs going into full production before they've proven they can operate in combat scenarios:
Testers, auditors and investigators of weapon programs have been losing their clout and their numbers for decades. Testers are going the way of auditors in the DoD, where their findings are delegated to only advice or "data points" to a system that is geared to pushing the weapon through to full production and "success" for the program manager and his DoD contractor.
Auditors who try to push for data or disallow exorbitant expenses have been pushed around or out of the system for years, and their example shows other auditors what happens if you try to force the contractor and his DoD program manager to relinquish documents needed to see where the money is going.
Read more about empowering Pentagon oversight personnel at Truthout.
Amy Butler's original post about testers not having teeth referred to the lack of reaction to their report that the Global Hawk isn't operationally effective. She's just reported, however, that Pentagon is now cutting the number of Global Hawks by a lucky 13, but it looks like it's due to cost, not operational capability--the Pentagon's head of Acquisitions certified that there weren't any alternatives to the system. So maybe even a soup to nuts review for a cost breach isn't enough to make testing results a significant factor in a system's fate.
Mandy Smithberger is a POGO investigator.
Image by Flickr user MΛЯK, used under Creative Commons License.