Report of the Advisory Panel on Streamlining and Codifying Acquisition Regulations, Volume 3, DoD 809 Panel
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Publication of Volume 3 of the Final Report marks the culmination of more than 2 years of stakeholder engagement and research aimed at streamlining DoD’s acquisition process. In the Supplement to the Section 809 Panel Interim Report, published in May 2017, the panel affirmed that meeting the agency mission should be the primary goal of DoD acquisition. Throughout its tenure, the Section 809 Panel has remained committed to ensuring its recommendations, including the 58 featured in Volume 3, honor that mission-first spirit, focusing on ways to improve DoD acquisition that support delivering lethality and sustaining technical dominance inside the turn of near-peer competitors and nonstate actors. DoD’s acquisition system must recognize the urgency the country faces and adopt a war footing for its acquisition system that will allow DoD to obtain technological superiority and to sustain the technological superiority it delivers to warfighters.
The Section 809 Panel’s Interim Report recommended modifying or eliminating statutory and regulatory requirements to reduce the burden and improve the functioning of DoD’s acquisition system. Congress adopted all of the statutory recommendations made in the Interim Report in the FY 2018 NDAA.
Volume 1 of the Final Report, released January 31, 2018 introduced a concept called the Dynamic Marketplace and contains recommendations to update the process by which DoD acquires IT systems, streamline DoD’s auditing requirements, reduce barriers to entry into the DoD market for small businesses, and redirect DoD’s use of small businesses to focus on mission accomplishment. Volume 1 also contains recommendations to update commercial buying processes, clarify the definitions of personal and non-personal services, remove statutory requirements for acquisition related DoD offices, and repeal acquisition-related statutory reporting requirements. Many of these recommendations were included in the FY 2019 NDAA.
Building on the panel’s commitment to proposing actionable recommendations, Volume 2, published June 28, 2018, contained recommendations addressing the acquisition workforce, commercial source selection, relocating the Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) Board, increasing the thresholds at which CAS would apply to contracts (reducing another barrier to small business participation) and services contracting. Volume 2 also introduced portfolio management as an approach for addressing the sizable delays and costs caused by the current program-centric acquisition model and continued the discussion of the Dynamic Marketplace concept.
Volume 3, the last installment of the Section 809 Panel’s Final Report, begins by providing a process for implementing the Dynamic Marketplace. The discussion of the Dynamic Marketplace identifies how a number of recommendations in the prior three volumes help to streamline acquisition in the defense-unique space, but also outlines acquisition of products and services that are readily available and readily available with customization in the public-sector marketplace. The portfolio management approach, first discussed in Volume 2, is described in detail in Volume 3 and coupled with specific recommendations for establishing portfolio management, implementing best practices within that framework, as well as aligning requirements management and sustainment operations with the portfolio framework. Volume 3 continues the work in the previous volumes related to managing the acquisition workforce, streamlining and improving compliance, simplifying procurement, and reorganizing Title 10. It also includes recommendations related to information technology procurement, budget reform, government–industry interactions, data analytics, understanding the complexities of the FAR and DFARS, and creating a center for continuing the Section 809 Panel’s acquisition reform efforts.
The Section 809 Panel produced a total of 98 recommendations with additional sub-recommendations, (five as part of its Interim Report and 93 spread across Volumes 1, 2, and 3 of the Final Report). Without support provided by Congress, DoD, the DoD acquisition community, and industry, the Section 809 Panel could not have produced more than 1,000 pages of recommendation text and an additional 1,000-plus pages of statutory and regulatory solutions for implementing the panel’s recommendations. Because of the many individuals who spoke at panel meetings, participated in interviews and engagement events, facilitated opportunities for site visits, offered recommendations and suggestions, and provided peer review, the Section 809 Panel’s body of work truly represents a collective effort from across the acquisition community. A broad and diverse collection of acquisition team members have been key in shaping the panel’s recommendations, which are aimed at more quickly and cost-effectively delivering lethality, obtaining technical dominance, and sustaining technical dominance inside the turn of near-peer competitors and non-state actors.
Due to its size, the Volume 3 report comes in two parts.