Panel supports changes to Coast Guard modernization

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Thursday approved a bill that would overhaul the Coast Guard's troubled $24 billion fleet-modernization program, notably by preventing private contractors from managing the effort by October 2011 at the latest.

Lawmakers said they are trying to put the government back in control of the Deepwater program, given problems that were discovered with the first assets and technology developed under the effort by an industry team of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

The bill, H.R. 2722, would make significant changes to Deepwater. "This legislation really makes very significant improvements in accountability in the way the Coast Guard manages its Deepwater program," said committee Chairman James Oberstar, D-Minn.

Coast Guard Subcommittee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., added, "I believe we have broad agreement that the Coast Guard must move deliberately to put the people [and plans] into place to manage its own procurement."

The bill, approved by voice vote, would require the Coast Guard to remove the private industry team as the Deepwater lead systems integrator within four years, or earlier if the Homeland Security Department certifies that doing so is possible.

The committee also approved by voice vote an amendment that would require the Coast Guard to partner with the Navy for expertise in acquisitions. Amendment sponsor Gene Taylor, D-Miss., noted that the Navy procures and manages new assets every year. "This is taking advantage of some great assets that our nation already has."

Congress moved to restructure the Deepwater program after government investigators reported that eight new patrol boats were plagued with problems and deficiencies. The Coast Guard has since decommissioned the boats and is negotiating with the industry team to recoup $100 million.

"There is $100 million worth of scrap metal sitting right now in Baltimore that shows a waste," Cummings said.

Problems have been found with other work done under the program. The committee said in a statement that they include "the failure of the effort to lengthen 110-foot patrol boats to 123 feet, failure of the first design for the new fast-response cutter, and failure of the initial design effort of the vertical unmanned aerial vehicle."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.