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Root Cause Analyses of Nunn-McCurdy Breaches, Volume 1: Zumwalt-Class Destroyer, Joint Strike Fighter, Longbow Apache and Wideband Global Satellite
RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA
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As a result of continuing concern with large cost overruns in a broad range of major defense programs, Congress enacted new statutory provisions extending the ambit of the existing Nunn-McCurdy Act, stipulating the review and reporting by the Department of Defense DoD of factors and issues in both specific and general terms. In accordance with the revised Nunn-McCurdy Act, the Performance Assessments and Root Cause Analysis PARCA office must provide its root cause explanation as part of a 60-day program review triggered when the applicable military department secretary reports a breach. In March 2010, the newly created PARCA office within the Office of the Secretary of Defense OSD, in view of staffing limitations, elected to rely on federally funded research and development center FFRDC support to help discharge its new responsibilities. It engaged the RAND Corporation to study the root causes of Nunn-McCurdy breaches in four of six major defense acquisition programs that had breached the DDG-1000, the Joint Strike Fighter, the Longbow Apache Helicopter, and the Wideband Global Satellite. RAND conducted its work within this 60-day window so that the PARCA office could use RAND findings in preparing DoD reports to Congress. This monograph contains the findings from each of the program reviews conducted by RAND. Although the programs involved are different, the RAND analysis found many similarities, ranging from unrealistic expectations to contracting methods. The report details the specifics of the reported breaches and is intended for a general audience however, it also used, in part, previously conducted RAND research on programs such as the Joint Strike Fighter and the DDG-1000. Selected publications that may be of interest about these programs and related acquisition processes are available at www.rand.org.
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