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25. RELIABILITY AND MAINTENANCE

One of the most important initiatives in defense contracting recently has been to place greater emphasis on the reliability and maintainability of weapon systems. It has been fully recognized that one of the most important characteristics of a weapon system is its reliability.

Tangible evidence of this concern is that Congress has passed two laws over the last several years on warranties on weapon systems. The most recent law requires that the Department of Defense obtain warranties of: (1) an absence of defects in materials and workmanship; (2) performance; and (3) conformity with design specifications, for virtually all weapon systems. These laws are intended to ensure greater emphasis on reliability and to ensure that the contractor assumes financial responsibility for such reliability.

CHAPTER 9

CONGRESSIONAL REVIEW AND OVERSIGHT

A. INTRODUCTION (The Congress has a central role in the overall planning and management of the Nation's security and must share responsibility for any fundamental problems. The primary argument presented in Chapter 3 (The Office of the Secretary of Defense) is that the lack of mission integration in the Defense Department is a serious shortcoming which requires corrective action through substantial reorganization accompanied by new approaches and attitudes. Unfortunately, Congressional actions have traditionally served to frustrate mission integration efforts in DoD. Beyond this deficiency, the current practice of Congressional review and oversight has resulted in substantial instability in defense policies and programs.

Efforts to reorganize the Department of Defense will prove imperfect again unless accompanied by changes on Capitol Hill. This chapter's review of the role of the Congress in the formulation of defense policies and programs will be limited to two objectives: o identify and analyze problems associated with congressional in

volvement in the formulation of defense policies and programs;

and o assess the potential impact of changes in congressional behav

ior on the effectiveness of the Department of Defense. B. EVOLUTION OF CONGRESSIONAL REVIEW AND OVERSIGHT

그 1. Constitutional Powers of the Congress Relating to National Defense

Article 1 of the Constitution enumerates the powers granted to the Congress. Those relating to national defense include the power to declare war, to raise and support the armed forces, to make rules for the government and regulation of the armed forces, to provide for calling for the militia, to organize, arm, and discipline the militia, and to appropriate money.

In enumerating the powers of the President under Article 2, the Constitution also provides additional powers to the Legislature as a check upon Executive authority. These include the power to advise and consent on treaties and appointments (by the Senate only) and the ability to vest powers of appointment of lesser officials in persons other than the President.

In addition to these primary grants of authority, Article 5 gives the Congress power to dispose of and make rules concerning property belonging to the United States. Beyond all these expressed

powers, the Congress retains the implied power to conduct investigations.

2. The Organization of the Congress in Providing for the National Defense

Because the Nation was born in conflict, providing for the common defense was explicitly identified as a primary and fundamental responsibility of the Federal Government and its Legislature. There was never any question that the Congress would provide itself with the tools to accomplish this task.

Article 1 provides that "each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings...." While this has produced different rules, traditions, and behavior in the two Houses of the Congress, their committee structures have been more notable for their similarities than for their differences. Over time, both Houses have had standing committees on Military Affairs, Naval Affairs, and/or the Militia.

The creation and evolution of these committees in both the House and the Senate were influenced by internal conflicts and struggles for jurisdiction within the committee system itself. In earlier years, these internal struggles, while present, were less obvious. There were fewer standing committees; the subcommittee structure was informal and ad hoc; and members of one committee were encouraged (and actually appointed) to serve ex officio on other committees or subcommittees with similar interests. In today's Congress, these mutually reinforcing traditions are no longer present. There are more standing committees and subcommittees. Joint tenure of Senators on an authorizing committee and its counterpart subcommittee on the Appropriations Committee is rare and discouraged. The growing complexity of public policy issues strains the traditional jurisdictional distinctions of the standing committees.

Under these circumstances, internal conflicts within the committee systems include jurisdictional disputes between authorizing and appropriating committees, between committees involved in defense and those concerned with foreign policy, and between the traditional authorizing and appropriating processes and the relatively new budget process. In fact, introduction of a new budget process in 1974 proved to be one of the most important historical developments in the evolution of congressional procedures and the assertion of congressional powers. These issues are discussed in greater detail in Section C (Key Trends) of this chapter.

3. The Role of the Senate Committee on Armed Services

The Senate Committee on Armed Services is a product of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 which, among its actions, combined the Committees on Military Affairs and Naval Affairs. Starting with virtually no organizational structure and only narrow authorizing jurisdiction, the Senate Armed Services Committee has developed a formal subcommittee structure and comprehensive responsibilities for defense authorization.

a. Jurisdiction

In its formative years, the Committee's attention was necessarily focused on those issues that dominated the postwar environment, including the organization of the new Department of Defense, development of a military capability for the new North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the resolution of numerous personnel issues which followed from the Second World War.

This period was immediately followed by the Korean Conflict, for which the Committee shared oversight responsibilities with the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. During the early 1950's, the Committee invested considerable time and effort in the development and oversight of security assistance and related programs.

Through 1954, legislation authorizing foreign economic and military aid was at least sequentially (and several times jointly) referred to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and then the Senate Committee on Armed Services. By 1961, however, the Foreign Assistance Act was referred exclusively to the Foreign Relations Committee. The decline of the Armed Services Committee's involvement in these matters paralleled a period in which the Foreign Relations Committee not only maintained oversight of the Federal agencies responsible for foreign assistance, but continued to be the source of expanding or amending legislation as well.

A fundamentally new direction in the jurisdiction of the Committee on Armed Services was begun in 1959 through Public Law 8614, which required annual authorizations of appropriations for the procurement of aircraft, missiles, and naval vessels. This marked the beginning of a steady expansion in the Committee's jurisdiction and authority. Through the requirement for annual authorizations, the Committee found a device for becoming directly and immediately involved in defense policy, including resource allocation decisions. This development of annual authorizations is discussed in Section Con Key Trends.

Today the authority and responsibilities of the Committee on Armed Services are found under Rule XXV of the Standing Rules of the Senate. The Rule states that all proposed legislation, messages, petitions, memorials, and other matters relating to the following subjects shall be referred to the Committee:

1. Aeronautical and space activities peculiar to or primarily associated with the development of weapons systems or military operations.

2. Common defense.

3. The Department of Defense, the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy, and the Department of the Air Force, generally.

4. Maintenance and operation of the Panama Canal, including administration, sanitation, and government of the Canal Zone.

5. Military research and development.
6. National security aspects of nuclear energy.
7. Navy petroleum reserves, except those in Alaska.

8. Pay, promotion, retirement, and other benefits and privileges of members of the Armed Forces, including overseas education of civilian and military dependents.

9. Selective service system.

10. Strategic and critical materials necessary for the common defense.

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