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Rearranging the Deck Chairs on the Titanic. Why Does Acquisition Reform Never Work

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Journal article

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The Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009 WSARA makes some significant changes to the defense acquisition system. However, a House Armed Services Committee press release that accompanied signing of the legislation acknowledged that the bill covers only 20 percent of the Pentagons buying practices. The Committee intends to introduce new acquisition reform legislation this year with the intent of saving 135 billion over five years, before the ink is even dry on the WSARA. Such legislation seems to be a rite of passage for each new administration--another attempt to wring savings out of defense acquisition by making it more efficient. There have been numerous high-level panels convened to look at ways to improve the system the Hoover study of 1949, the Fitzhugh Commission of 1970, and the Packard Commission of 1986, just to name a few, yet we continue to see inherent overruns and delinquent schedules in defense acquisition systems. With all of the analytical work put in over the years by highly qualified bodies of defense acquisition experts, why do none of these reform efforts seem to work Is it even possible to improve defense acquisition and make it a highly efficient, effective system Or are these efforts continual rearrangement of deck chairs on the Titanic acquisition system that never stops crashing into icebergs I will attempt to answer some of these questions, based on a short historical recap and search for commonly found, recurring problems identified in previous acquisition reform efforts.

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  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Sociology and Law
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

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