Embracing World Class Standards,
OFFICE OF THE UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE (ACQUISITION AND TECHNOLOGY) WASHINGTON DC
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We have made some significant progress on the first prong. We have achieved great success in incentivizing the use of non-Government standards on our new contracts. As I said earlier, we have done this by requiring that waivers must first be obtained in cases where military or federal specifications or standards are deemed to be necessary. And even in cases where military or federal specifications or standards are approved, the solicitation will typically contain language encouraging offerors to propose alternatives. From an incentives standpoint, the shoe is on the other foot each time we write a new contract. In those cases when requirements are uniquely military and there is no comparable industry standard, the Department is using, wherever it is possible, performance-based specifications rather than build to specifications. Performance- based specifications focus on what performance is expected, and do not describe how to accomplish the task. When written properly, these documents promote competition and enhance quality, reliability, and supportability by providing our suppliers with the greatest possible latitude for innovation. We have adjusted the training curricula of the schools in the Defense Acquisition University consortium to make sure the new policies are understood by our acquisition workforce, and put into action. In addition, every military specification and standard in the DoD Index - over 30,000 documents - has been screened with a view towards cancellation, inactivation, or replacement with a performance specification, non- Government standard, or guidance handbook. To date, over 4,000 military specifications and standards have been canceled or inactivated. We are beginning to see the benefits of these MILSPEC reforms.
- Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods