The Defense Department's Strategic Capabilities Office has managed to successfully transition all six of the weapons systems it's developed into programs of record that are now controlled by the military services. The secret to its success, according to the SCO's director, is its insistence on prototyping.
As agencies begin to implement the EO over the next eight months, the potential elimination of various carve-outs is going to be the most interesting thing to watch — and the thing that most worries the folks who pay close attention to Defense technology procurement.
In part two of a special report: Defense Acquisition at a Crossroads, Federal News Radio examines the challenges the Defense Department will face as it implements numerous Congressional acquisition reforms, many of which it didn't ask for.
The Pentagon’s internal improvement plan, known as Better Buying Power, coincided with several consecutive years of declines in the rate of cost growth for the Pentagon’s major weapons systems, from more than 9 percent in 2011 to 3.5 percent in 2015, the lowest level since 1985.
The Pentagon is developing a new web portal to make it easier for firms to let the government know about their independent research & development (IR&D) activities.
Besides restructuring and bifurcating the large front office that’s currently responsible for both acquisition and R&D, the bill adds several new authorities that build on last year’s trend of letting DoD sidestep the traditional acquisition system.
The Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit-Experimental thinks it’s learned a thing or two about rapid acquisition over the year since its initial standup, and sees no good reason why the rest of the Defense Department can’t use the same techniques it’s put in place to award new contracts in 60 days or less.
If all goes according to plan, the Defense Department is a few weeks away from releasing new guidance on how it buys and builds business IT systems.
Like Old Faithful, the Federal Acquisition Regulation Council erupts periodically, showers contracting officers and contractors with new rules, updates to old ones and even subtle word changes. Procurement attorney Joseph Petrillo of the law firm Petrillo & Powell shares the latest bucketful on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
The Obama Administration has issued long-awaited final rules designed to keep companies who routinely violate labor laws from getting federal contracts. Vendors will have to report any violations of 14 different labor laws, and eventually state laws too, directly to the Labor Department. Eric Crusius, attorney at Miles & Stockbridge, joins Jared Serbu on Federal Drive with Tom Temin to talk about the rules.
A powerful driver of federal acquisition policy is suspicion the government isn't getting the absolute lowest prices vendors have to offer.
The Open Approaches Management Office will ensure open architecture principles can be applied throughout the Air Force's acquisition system and not just in small, experimental pockets.
Frank Kendall, the Pentagon’s acquisition chief, said Tuesday that he’s comfortable with a package of procurement reforms the House Armed Services Committee passed two weeks ago, largely because the final bill took a step back from strict language that would have required DoD to use modular open architectures on all of its major weapons systems.
The Office of Federal Procurement Policy named 10 people to manage categories that represent some $270 billion in procurement. Larry Allen, president of Allen Federal Business Partners, told Federal Drive with Tom Temin that contractors better start paying attention.