Section 809 is from the National Defense Authorization Act. The National Defense Authorization Act’s purpose is to “authorize appropriations for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths, and for other purposes.”[1] The Department of Defense recently launched the panel with the sole purpose to advise and streamline acquisition regulations and a focus on five target areas. These target areas are “to establish and administer appropriate buyer and seller relationships in the procurement system; Improve the functioning of the acquisition system; Ensure the continuing financial and ethical integrity of defense procurement programs; Protect the best interests of the Department of Defense; and Eliminate any regulations that are unnecessary for the purposes described.”[2]

The Section 809 Panel only has two years to offer recommendations for changing regulation to achieve the ends required of the National Defense Authorization Act. At the end of 2 years, the final report will be due as well as interim reports at the 6-month and 18-month marks. Once the final report is completed, Deidre Lee, Chair of the Section 809 Acquisition Advisory Panel, will turn the finished report over to the congressional defense committees for inspection and implementation when applicable. Up until the panel is closed, the members will be open to advice from contractors, agencies, and opinions from the general public as well. Although not all meetings will be opened to the public, the ones labeled “open session” encourage participation from American citizens and documentation via the press.
Agencies are generally divided into defense and civilian. Although defense agencies are most commonly associated with the National Defense Authorization Act, civilian agencies also have a part to play. Mid-tiers can be both civilian and defense agencies, regardless of the type of agency, mid-tiers struggle to enter the market. The saturation of large companies in the market keep mid-tiers from being recognized by Panels such as the Section 809. Sometimes the best way to be more efficient is to take advice from new companies and faces. The Department of Defense could employ these mid-tier companies to gain a fresh perspective on ways to amend regulations and exchange old policies for new. Mid-Tier Advocacy’s new VP RJ Kolton will speak on behalf of Mid-Tier Advocacy to encourage the panel members to take into account what these companies have to say and to consider working with them.

[1] https://section809panel.org/faqs/

[2] http://www.defensenews.com/articles/dod-launches-acquisition-regulations-advisory-panel

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