ACT-IAC Comments to DoD 809 Commission (December 2017)
The Department of Defense spends nearly $300 billion annually acquiring systems, goods, and services in support of the nation’s defense. A successful acquisition system is critical to providing warfighting and defense capability. Section 809 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 (Public Law 114–92), as amended by Section 863(d) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 (Public Law 114–328), established an independent Advisory Panel on Streamlining and Codifying Acquisition Regulations—the Section 809 Panel.
The 809 Panel adopted a strategy of broad public engagement and has actively solicited input from all interested persons and organizations. ACT-IAC has provided three previous sets of recommendations to the Commission and had the opportunity to meet twice with the Commission.
This document is in response to a subsequent request by the Commission to provide suggestions regarding specific regulations that should be modified or deleted. The Commission asked for detail on the regulations to be modified, the actual proposed modifications and the justification. This document also pulls together and summarizes key recommendations put forward by ACT-IAC in its prior submissions to the Commission.
Section 1 provides a brief description of ACT-IAC and its interest in the defense acquisition system. As the only organization where government and industry executives are working as equal partners to create a more effective and innovative government, ACT-IAC offers a unique perspective on the issues addressed herein. Moreover, with over thirty years of experience in addressing the acquisition of information technology by government, ACT-IAC is able to offer valuable insights.
Section 2 provides detailed recommendations regarding specific acquisition regulations and related policies whose modification or elimination would improve the defense acquisition system. In accordance with the request of Commission staff, much of this section is dedicated to a line-in and line-out analysis. Given the complexity of this presentation, ACT-IAC is available to provide additional information if needed.
ACT-IAC believes that improving the defense acquisition process requires more than just regulatory change – it is a complex ecosystem which should be included in any reform initiative. Section 3 provides a comprehensive strategy for improving the defense acquisition process and provides recommendations on key areas that the Department should consider addressing.
Section 4 provides an overview of the FITARA maturity model developed by ACT-IAC and now in use by a number of Federal agencies. This model may be of value to the Department as it embarks upon a transformation of its processes for acquiring and management information technology.
Finally, Section 5 introduces the reader to the Acquisition Transformation Project – an initiative where knowledgeable executives from government and industry are rethinking the entire acquisition process and seeking to create a more agile and innovation approach to the acquisition of IT goods and services. The defense community is invited to participate in this ongoing initiative.