Senator questions why Agriculture agency, rather than USAID, is managing agricultural development efforts in Afghanistan.
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Agencies must streamline acquisitions process and improve cost management to attract best contractors, according to think tank.
Army official's strategy can be summed up with the mantra: "Buy fewer, more often."
Most recent cost estimate is $14.7 billion.
Congressional Budget Office says figure is the highest shortfall, relative to the size of the economy, since 1945.
Disagreement swirls over whether the home financing giants' role of stabilizing and stimulating the mortgage market can be privatized.
Amendment would have cut $20 million in funding for the Public Telecommunications Facilities Planning and Construction program.
Senate now will consider conference report on fiscal 2010 Defense authorization.
Legislation extends ban on public-private job competitions and limits award fees for negligent contractors.
Electronic health records initiative and social networking sites are among the projects under way.