Defense

DOD aims to improve procurement communications

Katrina McFarland

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition Katrina McFarland

The Defense Department is considering sharing potential procurement requirements with industry even if those draft requirements never take effect, Assistant Secretary for Acquisition Katrina McFarland said April 16 at an industry conference in Washington.

"The Joint [Chiefs of] Staff has come to visit, and they're interested in looking at how they can allow for the exposure of information on the generation of requirements early on and how would that be protected from the sense that government may never ever actually buy this requirement," McFarland said at a National Defense Industrial Association-hosted event.

Giving industry a peek at draft requirements can get government and defense contractors on the same page for their budget priorities, she said. The idea is for the government to signal procurement criteria without being on the hook for following through on those criteria.

McFarland said that acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Alan Shaffer already floats early procurement requirements to industry for one program in his portfolio, and indicated that sharing early requirements with industry is a major agenda item for her office.

In lean budget times, the DOD is looking to innovation in technology R&D to cut costs, McFarland added. Consider your own methods of cost-cutting, she beseeched defense professionals, and asked them: "How do you marry that up with what our business is so that we are already prepared for the next generation of equipment?"

About the Author

Sean Lyngaas is a former FCW staff writer.

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