Defense Acquisition Reform: Doing the Same Thing All Over Again
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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The Defense Acquisitions System DAS supports the defense of our nation by developing and procuring weapons systems for the Armed Services. Unfortunately, the DAS frequently fails to produce the weapons systems within budget or on time. Thus, the US Congress and the President have initiated hundreds of acquisition studies in the last forty years. Many of these studies have generated new acquisition legislation, but the DAS still consistently fails to produce the outcomes desired by Congress. Congress latest attempt to solve procurement problems is the 2009 Weapons System Acquisition Reform Act. The research used the WSRA as a means to assess the acquisition system and acquisition reform. To assess the WSRA it was necessary to examine the history of the acquisition system, the actors within the system, the regulatory environment, and the goal of previous legislation. The research found that the 2009 WSRA is unlikely to measurably improve the DAS. The 2009 WSRA does not implement new solutions to the problems of cost overruns and schedule slippages, rather it re-enacts previously used provisions. Congress has created a complex acquisitions process governed by thousands of pages of regulation and hundreds of different laws. Even if the 2009 WSRA implemented new and effective ideas, the US Congress would likely pass new legislation before the WSRA could even produce positive effects within the process. Ultimately, Congress must develop a better understanding of the DAS to implement real improvements. Congress has too frequently implemented simple legislative fixes for complex problems.
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies