Army needs better acquisition process, official says

New assistant secretary, emphasis on smaller technologies are critical to efficiency: Army official

The Army must improve its contracting processes and deliver better technologies to do "more without more” money, a senior Defense Department official said today.

Malcolm O’Neill, assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, said the Army is seeking a 2 percent to 3 percent growth in warfighting capabilities without commensurate budget increase. He also said those capabilities must become less about major platforms and instead better geared toward smaller tactical teams and dismounted soldiers.

“A paradigm shift is necessary – and I think we’ve done that with platforms. But what have we done for the individual soldier and small tactical unit?” O’Neill said today at a briefing in Arlington, Va., sponsored by the Professional Services Council.

“Do we in DOD have world class technology? In some areas we do, but in others we need to" improve, he said.

The Army is also targeting contracted support services – an area that Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said would see a 10 percent decrease in funding over the next three years for the entire DOD.

O’Neill said that progress is being made implementing the recently launched office of deputy assistant secretary of the Army for services (DASA-S), a position that he said will be responsible for all Army services and service contracts.

James Sutton was named as DASA-S when the office was established in last November. According to the Army, Sutton is responsible for policy, planning, execution, and management of services provided to the Army, at a cost of $50 billion annually.

According to O’Neill, the DASA-S is working with Army commands to better define requirements, share best practices, establish service templates and reduce redundancies.

“We have an increasing need to provide the best equipment, products and support – speed matters,” he said.

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a former staff writer for FCW and Defense Systems.

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