The Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, Jacques Gansler, announced today a major change in the way DoD will develop and procure future weapon and information systems. The new policies, over a year in the making, are geared to modernize the way the Pentagon does business and are focused on delivering technology to the warfighter faster, at an affordable cost, and with significantly improved performance.
The new policies cover all aspects of how the Pentagon develops and purchases anything that is used by the Department of Defense. They are used by the Pentagon's acquisition workforce and apply to virtually all aspects of the research, development, production, deployment and logistics support of DoD systems.
"These new policies are a critical step forward in acquisition reform because they provide the program manager with far more flexibility than ever before," Gansler said. "It is the way we need to do business if we want to get the best technology we have to our warfighters more quickly and at a lower cost."
This new way of doing business replaces more traditional processes that were inconsistent with current, very rapid technology cycles and based on intractable requirements, many of them requiring technology leaps of unknown cost or timing. The old policies helped to drive the 15-20 year development cycles for systems seen traditionally and often causing DoD to spend significant portions of budgets for relatively small increments in performance.
The new policies establish an environment that emphasizes flexibility. Requirements will be more flexible and allow for reasonable, thoughtful tradeoffs between cost and performance. Proposed programs may enter the acquisition process at various decision points, depending on concept and technological maturity. Managers at every level are encouraged to tailor their acquisition strategies consistent with the particular conditions of their program and sound business management practice. Consequently, systems will be able to proceed through development more rapidly and improved capability will be provided to the warfighter in far less time.
The policies also place increased emphasis on interoperability; give priority consideration to the use of commercial products, services and technologies to meet DoD requirements; stress the benefits of competition to innovation and cost reduction, and emphasize the integration of logistics and systems acquisition to produce more reliable systems and maintain them in a more timely and cost-effective way.
The new policies are codified in DoD Directive 5000.1, DoD Instruction 5000.2 and DoD Interim Regulation 5000.2R. Copies of these documents and related information is available on the Acquisition Resources and Analysis Website at http://www.acq.osd.mil/ara/ , and the Acquisition Reform Website at http://www.acq.osd.mil/ar (not available) , and are included in the Department of Defense Acquisition Deskbook an internet-based reference document used by DoD's acquisition workforce.