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DoD: More Reforms than Personnel Can Handle

During a speech Monday at a National Contract Management Association conference, Peter Levine—the acting defense undersecretary for personnel and readiness and former deputy chief management officer—said there are too many acquisition reforms coming from Congress to properly implement with current staff levels. “Perhaps one of the reasons [DoD is] too top heavy is we are trying to do too many things at the same time,” he said. “You can say the same thing about acquisition legislation. If you have 50, 70, 90, 100 different acquisition provisions in a single National Defense Authorization Act, every single one of those provisions has to be administered by somebody and it’s hard then to see how you complain that you have too much headquarters [staff], when it’s the headquarters units that’s going to have to write the legislation that implements those,” Levine said. As Federal News Radio notes, “The 2017 bill as passed by the House and Senate has about 100 provisions on acquisition policy. At the same time, it limits the number of civilians assigned to the Office of the Secretary of Defense to 3,767.”

When it Comes to Large Programs, Trump’s Tweets are only the Beginning

Marcus Weisgerber writes at Defense One that defense contractors should expect more involvement in their contracts from President-Elect Donald Trump beyond his tweets. The President-Elect recently tweeted about both Boeing’s Air Force One contract and the cost of the F-35 program, causing both Boeing and Lockheed’s stock prices to momentarily dip. “It’s too early to determine or quantify an impact but we cannot dismiss the president-elect’s demonstrated interest in high profile defense programs and his penchant for distilling his terse criticisms into 140 characters,” Roman Schweizer, an analyst with Cowen and Company, said. “[W]e do not think he is going to tolerate front-page headlines during his term about massive program overruns, poor performance, or broken ships and aircraft. And perception may matter more than details.”

Air Force to Pilot Special Procurement Process for IT

The Air Force is looking to create a procurement process specifically designed to buy information technology services, and is close to hiring an executive from outside the military to run it. “We’re focusing on agility as an attribute, speed as an attribute, working together collaboratively and cross functionally when it makes sense. It’s not for everything. Not everything can be treated as a major acquisition development, some of it is small stuff like tools we are trying to put on the network and so we want to be very adaptive to the changing environment,” Air Force Chief Information Officer Lt. Gen. Bill Bender said an event today. The hope is to be able to pilot the new approach within six months, and then run it for three years.

Five Minutes to Better Memos

In our latest five-minute training video, Public Spend Forum’s Director of Learning Frank McNally offers quick tips for writing better, clearer, and more effective memos. In this video, McNally uses a market research memo as a case study.

Webinar: The Five Myths of Market Research

If done well, and at an early stage of a program or procurement, market research can be a critical aspect of achieving program outcomes and procurement goals. It can lead to better requirements that are aligned to market capabilities, improved competition, and reduced total cost of ownership, benefitting both government and suppliers. Join our webinar to upend conventional wisdom around market research, and how to drive superior outcomes.

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