New DoD services acquisition policy almost final

The DoD will detail a better, agile process for the military to buy services.

DALLAS — New rules for how the Defense Department will buy services are in their final approval stages.

Col. James DeLong, a senior program analyst for the Air Force, said Tuesday that the policy is in the hands of Alan Estevez, DoD’s principal deputy undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics, for review before it heads for signature from Frank Kendall, the undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics.

DeLong didn’t give a timetable for when DoD would finalize the policy, but it should come later this year.

The new policy, which has been under development for the better part of a year, aims to bring together several ongoing initiatives to improve how the military buys services. Services account for about 55 percent ($156 billion) of all DoD’s acquisition spending.

DeLong said the will include sections on policy, oversight and training.

DeLong said the goal is to give services a framework to follow, but each military branch or agency will develop its own implementation plan.

Under the policy section, for example, the will require the services to establish leadership at the command level, create service requirement review boards to ensure the commander has the final say before committing to a buy and specific tripwires, which would require an organization to conduct a more focused review on the service acquisition.

“The commander should know who is involved in the team for most high dollar procurements,” DeLong said. “The commander is responsible for holding these review boards, which need to include legal, contracting, program folks and others.”

DeLong said in the end the goal of the new acquisition services policy is to improve how DoD buys services and reduces its risk, to provide insights for future efficiencies and savings and to  ensure there’s oversight and training for the acquisition workforce.

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