Three reports and nearly 100 recommendations later, the Section 809 panel is set to wrap up July 14. While many of the panel’s suggestions will take time and resources to enact, the chairman says there are several that could be implemented “with a stroke of a pen.”
The panel, created in the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, looked deeper at ways the Defense Acquisition System could deliver capabilities to warfighters easier and quicker than near-pier competitors and non-state actors. Dave Drabkin, panel chairman, said the Defense Department wasn’t doing the best job.
“We looked at various aspects of the system that needed to be fixed, from our perspective,” Drabkin said on Federal Drive with Tom Temin. “One of our driving forces is we realized from the very beginning, or we all knew but we agreed, that the department doesn’t value speed, it doesn’t value time. However long it takes, it takes. So if it takes 18 months to buy a computer, it takes 18 months. In the private sector, it doesn’t take that long.”
Aside from speeding up the process and maybe eliminating some of the extra layers needed to approve acquisitions, Drabkin said Ellen Lord, undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and sustainment, and her team could start with a few quick fixes.
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