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National Defense: Department of Defense's Waiver of Competitive Prototyping Requirement for the Navy's Fleet Replenishment Oiler Program

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Congressional rept.

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The Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009, as amended WSARA, requires the Secretary of Defense to modify defense guidance to ensure that the acquisition strategy for each major defense acquisition program provides for competitive prototypes before Milestone B approval which authorizes entry into system development unless the Milestone Decision Authority waives the requirement.1 WSARA also provides that whenever a Milestone Decision Authority authorizes a waiver of the competitive prototyping requirement on the basis of what WSARA describes as excessive cost, the Milestone Decision Authority is required to submit notification of the waiver, together with the rationale, to the Comptroller General of the United States at the same time it is submitted to the congressional defense committees. WSARA further provides that no later than 60 days after receipt of a notification of a waiver, we are to review the rationale for the waiver and submit a written assessment of that rationale to the congressional defense committees. Competitive prototyping, which involves commercial, government, or academic sources producing early prototypes of weapon systems or critical subsystems, can help Department of Defense DOD programs reduce technical risk, refine requirements, validate designs and cost estimates, and evaluate manufacturing processes prior to making major commitments of resources. It can also help reduce the time it takes to field a system, and as a result, its acquisition cost. WSARA states that the Milestone Decision

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

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