WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates Tuesday gave a taste of his $100 billion, five-year savings plan as he tries to push the Pentagon to run more efficiently.
Gates said the Pentagon must get "more bang for its buck and shift its focus to the military's needs for the future," The Washington Post reported.
The effort to corral the Pentagon's roughly $700 billion-a-year in spending began in 2009 when Gates cut several large-price military hardware programs. Last month, he ordered the closing of the Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Va., and tackled reducing spending on support contractors by 10 percent for each of the next three years, the Post said. For several months now, about 40 top acquisition officials have been looking for ways to eliminate inefficiencies and unnecessary overhead.
The savings plan Gates proffered Tuesday includes a five-step road map on how the Pentagon can be more efficient when it buys about $400 billion worth of goods and services ranging from advanced aircraft, ammunition and submarines to food service contracts, lawn care services and running computer networks.
As part of the plan, the Pentagon will establish what it can afford to pay for a weapons system that would fit within its budget, the department said. The plan also includes incentives for contractors to keep costs low; better manage contract oversight and eliminate unnecessary, bureaucratic reports.
"In too many instances, past mismanagement has deprived (contractors) of the incentives to bring down costs," Gates said.
Providing performance incentives should "lead to higher financial reward, higher profit," he said.