DOD acquisition, spending reforms start to pay off, officials say

Department aims to optimize IT spending

The Defense Department is taking the new mantra of "do more without more" seriously, according to DOD officials speaking recently at the AFCEA Belvoir Industry Days conference at National Harbor, Md.

Program executive officers across the Army said they’re beginning to see the effects of initiatives put in place last year by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to improve efficiency, realign spending priorities and streamline a cumbersome acquisition process.

“Army IT spending will remain stable; the goal is to optimize the IT spend. Optimization will be guided by computing trends,” said Gary Winkler, Army program executive officer for enterprise information systems.

However, there are still plenty of problems, and there likely will be more to come. Winkler predicted that force reductions could still lie ahead for DOD, citing his own experience in the 1980s when, like now, an insourcing effort was followed by a hiring freeze – which was later followed by layoffs.

Read more in Defense Systems.

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