Pentagon racing to reform procurement
- By George I. Seffers
- Jun 19, 2000
Acquisition reformers within the Pentagon are racing to get things done
before the Clinton administration leaves office, including a major initiative
to fundamentally alter the procurement process, according to Stan Soloway,
deputy undersecretary of Defense for acquisition reform.
"This is a really big deal," Soloway said.
Within the next week, Defense Department leaders are expected to sign off
on a new acquisition plan that, among other things, will provide contractors
with greater flexibility, take greater advantage of commercial products
and enable DOD to field systems before they become obsolete.
"We have some systems that will come online with scores of obsolete components
that will no longer be in production," Soloway said. "In some cases those
components might not be critical, but in some cases, they might. That's
what the [new procurement process] really speaks to."
The new acquisition process allows requirements for a system to evolve over
time as technology matures and risks are understood. That means the Pentagon
can wait until it is certain a system will fully meet its needs before committing
long-term funding to the program.
"We will not, if we do this right, commit to system Y as a solution until
the components or elements, the key technologies, of system Y have been
matured and proven out," Soloway said.
Other acquisition reform issues the Pentagon is tackling before year's end
* Expanding military specification reform efforts to include systems already
in use rather than just new systems.
* Making performance-based contracting a reality.
* Laying the groundwork for solving work force issues, such as personnel