Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Acquisition Process Update with Honorable Ashton B Carter, USECDEF AT&L

Maj Mekesha Armstrong writes about the acquisition process:

Speaking on acquisition process updates, Undersecretary Ashton B. Carter discussed how our nation is in a new era, with little to no defense budget growth, unlike the era just after we declared the war on terror in 2001. We cannot continue to support troops with the capabilities they need to do their jobs unless we make our dollars stretch farther, he said. Therefore, Secretary Gates has outlined a project for how the Defense Department contracts goods and services can create greater efficiency and productivity.

The new project, announced in June 2010, has a goal of finding $100 billion in low-value (overhead) activities and reapportioning those dollars to warfighting capabilities. The US has, roughly, a $700 billion defense budget with about $300 billion going toward government (DoD employees, DoD facilities, etc) and $400 billion contracted out, spent on procurement of goods and on procurement of services. The $100 billion in efficiencies should be found in the activities that are contracted out.

Detailed guidance for industry partners and DoD contracting professionals, released by Secretary Gates yesterday, lays out 23 actions in pursuit of the goal, placed into five principle categories. Undersecretary Carter argues that it is a reasonable goal. We are pursuing this at the end of a decade of budget growth, so some “fat” has crept in, he said. Additionally, President Obama and the country’s legislative leadership understand the need for acquisition reform and productivity growth. But as Undersecretary Carter closed his speech, he commended the Air Force on the reinvigoration efforts of the nuclear enterprise, the mobility efforts in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and finally the excellent support to ground forces (naming Project Liberty as an example).

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