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Acquisition Reform to Enable Military Effectiveness

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UMD Identifies Four Key Recommendations that Lead to a New Acquisition Process with Greater Agility and Responsiveness

The Center for Public Policy and Private Enterprise released its latest findings and recommendations in the “Acquisition Reform to Enable Military Effectiveness” report. The report written by William Lucyshyn, research professor and director of research; and John P. Rigilano, faculty research assistant, at the Center identifies the recommendations and comments from industry and former DoD leadership. The report also suggests a new acquisition process with more agility that aligns with the needs of today’s warfighter.

The Department of Defense continues to rely on the linear acquisition processes developed decades ago, even as weapon system programs continue to exceed their planned schedules and budget baselines. In order to respond to today’s uncertain and ever-changing threat environment, all of the major stakeholders agree that DoD must transition toward a system with greater agility and responsiveness.

Congress addressed the issue by directing major organizational changes within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, by splitting the splitting the responsibility of the Under Secretary of Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics between two new positions - - an Under Secretary of Research Development and Engineering, and an Under Secretary of Acquisition. In the report, CPPPE identifies four critical recommendations, and maps out a new acquisition process to make the transition more successful.

CPPPE’s recommendations include:

  • Eliminating unnecessary documentation
  • Streamlining milestone documentation; providing a single, integrated plan to Milestone Decision Authority (MDA), with detailed plans approved at a lower level
  • Eliminating milestone C; since, in reality, LRIP equals production
  • Rapidly implementing outcome / performance based contracts for sustainment

The research this report is based on, was partially funded by Lockheed Martin Corporation. CPPPE has been conducting research in the area of acquisition for more than 17 years, under the leadership and expertise of its founding director, Jacques S. Gansler, (former under secretary of defense (AT&L) from 1997-2001) who is now professor emeritus. Acquisition research is one of the Center’s main research thrusts, and is led by Research Professor William Lucyshyn, CPPPE’s director of research.