According to an article published by the Federal Times, the Defense Department has introduced a new bill with the goal of testing new procurement approaches and evaluating acquisition positions within the Department of Defense. The bill will mandate that new procurement approaches must be taken as a trial for up to 10 information technology projects per year. Specifically, they are attempting to streamline the existing processes that have been labeled "too long and cumbersome" by the Defense Science Board.

This bill includes plans to conduct an independent study of how well it contracts for services, including items such as; quality and completeness, the historical record of using best practices and developing statements of work, management structure, and the effectiveness of performance measures. These studies are important, since the bill also includes the expedition of hiring for acquisition positions, with a goal of adding 20,000 new professionals by 2015. Going back to a post wrote earlier this year, I expressed concern that that simple addition of more people would not solve any problems in government procurement. Hopefully these studies are conducted thoroughly and will examine the overall mess that is our existing Defense Department's acquisition department, before they throw more bodies (and paychecks) into the mix.

However, I am still skeptical, these studies are being labeled as "independent", which realistically could mean "let's hire our favorite consulting firm". That consulting firm (in its best interest) will then conduct an expensive long-term report that will likely show that they need to create more best practice documents and procedures, and surprise, they can help the government do it on a 3 year multi-million dollar contract. I hope I am wrong.
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William Dorn

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