Don’t be surprised to see changes to the DOD acquisition system in the near future. As we previously reported, on October 29, 2013, House Armed Services Committee (HASC) Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) announced that Committee Vice Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) will lead “a long term DOD reform effort that includes a hard look at acquisition.” Now, the HASC and Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) have asked various organizations like the American Bar Association, National Defense Industrial Association and Professional Services Council to weigh-in about how to “improve the DOD acquisition system.” In its letter, the HASC/SASC ask for input on a variety of topics including:
- Steps that DOD or Congress could take to reduce the cost of major defense acquisition programs;
- Steps that DOD or Congress could take to empower key acquisition personnel, such as program managers and cost estimators, to make sound choices throughout the acquisition process;
- Steps that DOD could take to improve planning, contracting, oversight and management of services contracts; and
- Steps that DOD or Congress could take to incentivize timely delivery of capability and services for the warfighter and full consideration of life cycle costs.
This comes on the heels of a few relevant and interesting GAO reports – one discussing how certain DOD Major Automated Information Systems (MAIS) programs need to implement key acquisition practices, and another suggesting that noncompetitive contracts based on the urgency exception to full and open competition need additional oversight. We will continue to monitor the HASC/SASC’s efforts to reform DOD’s acquisition system, and analyze their impacts on the acquisition process and future opportunities for industry.