The Defense Department submits seven legislative proposals to Capitol Hill to simplify its acquisition process. But don’t call them reforms, says Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics. Federal News Radio Executive Editor Jason Miller tells In Depth with Francis Rose to discuss what DoD is asking for.
Frank Kendall, the undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, told the House Armed Services Committee that a bunch of incremental changes could help DoD find success with its acquisitions more often. The seven legislative proposals address redundant documents and processes that the military needs help from Congress to get rid of and give program managers more time.
The Defense and Homeland Security departments both say they are putting their programs on a path that will insist that technologies are rigorously tested before they commit to expensive acquisition strategies.
The latest blueprint to improve DoD’s acquisition process will try to help the military achieve game-changing end products and spend less time on the business end of the acquisition system. Frank Kendall, the undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, said the strategy remains in draft form while DoD gathers feedback from a variety of experts.
The Pentagon issued a handful of directives in August designed to reverse the trend in its contract competition rate, which has slipped from 64 percent in 2008 to 56.5 percent in the third quarter of 2014. A preliminary analysis shows most of the opportunity for improvement is in service contracting.
The U.S. and its allies have dominated the military technology landscape for decades, but the Defense Department now sees potential adversaries in its rearview mirror. The Pentagon is coming up with some coping strategies to maintain its technological advantage, including version 3 of Better Buying Power.
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.