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Getting to Best: Reforming the Defense Acquisition Enterprise. A Business Imperative for Change from the Task Force on Defense Acquisition Law and Oversight

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Business Executives for National Security BENS - a non-partisan organization of individuals with business backgrounds in the commercial sector and a few from the defense sector - was created to provide advice and support to the government on issues in which its members possess particular experience and expertise. BENS thus established in 2008 a Task Force to examine the defense acquisition process from a business perspective and to make recommendations for consideration by Congress and the Department of Defense to improve that process. How might a business perspective improve the practice of defense acquisition First, it would ensure that the interests and incentives of all enterprise stakeholders are communicated, understood and agreed upon. Second, reform would begin to create an environment where, rather than striving to become error-free on the process side, the acquisition system is aimed at achieving successful outcomes - that is, providing users what they need, when they need it, and at a cost they can afford. Third, it would open lines of communication between DoD and its suppliers - the defense industrial base in particular as well as the larger commercial sector. The private sector operates as a community of buyers and sellers. However, a key to fundamental, systemic change lies with the Congress, which, through the body of Federal law and its oversight function, shapes the regulatory framework and influences the culture of defense acquisition. Any attempt to fix the system must first consider the antecedent of todays dysfunctional acquisition system, the body of acquisition law. Fundamental reform of that body of law is clearly something neither the Pentagon, nor even the Executive Branch, can undertake alone. The Task Force believes the impetus for reform must originate with Congress. Through legislation, report language and the power of the purse, Congress sets the tone and shapes the regulatory framework and behavior that follow.

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  • Administration and Management
  • Government and Political Science
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

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