The Defense Department's acquisition chief outlined a series of changes intended to bolster competition for DoD contracts on Friday, lamenting the fact that the Pentagon has missed its competition goals every year since the goals were created.
When it comes to lowest price, technically acceptable policies, the Defense Department wants more than "acceptable" for its acquisition services. Even with looming sequestration forcing DoD to stretch financially, Frank Kendall, undersecretary of Defense acquisition, technology and logistics, said the department must incentivize contractors to provide better value as well as best prices.
The Defense Department adds its own voice to a growing list of associations and members of Congress with ideas on how to improve the military's acquisition process. DoD's ideas center less on what Congress can do and more on what it shouldn't do. Federal News Radio's Executive Editor Jason Miller joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss what DoD is looking to change. Read Jason's related article.
Frank Kendall, the undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, sent a letter to Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.) back in June detailing how Congress can help DoD improve its acquisition outcomes. The list includes stopping sequestration, continued support of workforce training and simplifying rules and regulations.
"Cut it some slack" is what Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall asks critics of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. Kendall made those comments Thursday at a ceremony marking the delivery of two F-35s to Australia. The F-35 isn't likely to go away soon, but the buzz about what would replace it may be getting a little louder. Robert Farley is assistant professor at the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce. He writes in The National Interest about five options for replacing the F-35. He said on In Depth with Francis Rose that one choice is restarting the F-22 line.
The size of DoD's civilian acquisition workforce has grown by some 20,000 employees over the past five years and now numbers about 135,000 personnel members, according to Stephanie Barna, acting assistant secretary of Defense for Readiness and Force Management. That's thanks to an effort by DoD begun in 2009 to recapitalize its acquisition workforce. But the department's focus on the acquisition workforce has been strained by a slew of competing priorities and congressionally-mandated belt-tightening, Barna said.
"Inside the DoD's Reporter's Notebook" is a biweekly feature focused on news about the Defense Department and defense community as gathered by Federal News Radio DoD Reporter Jared Serbu. In this edition, DoD kicks off its "superior supplier" program, and DoD asks Congress to stop pushing acquisition reforms.
"Inside the DoD's Reporter's Notebook" is biweekly feature focused on news about the Defense Department and defense community as gathered by Federal News Radio DoD Reporter Jared Serbu.
The 2009 reform aimed at ending the Pentagon's practice of overpromising the weapons systems it could deliver within the budgets it was asking for is showing signs of success. But DoD's acquisition chief says no amount of legislating will solve cost overruns.
The Defense Department and the industries it depends on have made their way through budget downturns before, but this one is different. Both budgets and threats are uncertain.
The latest edition of the Defense Department's effort to buy more capability without more money will emphasize the idea of bringing outside innovation into the military acquisition process.
Frank Kendall, the undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, said while the budget agreement adds money back to DoD's overall spending capacity in 2014 and 2015, the deal still doesn't plug holes in the Pentagon's research funding. Kendall estimated R&D funding will drop by as much as 20 percent compared to the department's initial requests.
On the In Depth show blog, you can listen to our interviews, find more information about the guests on the show each day, as well as links to other stories and resources we discuss.
Undersecretary for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall the update to Instruction 5000.02 incorporates Better Buying Power principles, such as making cutting costs fundamental for program managers.