The Department of Defense’s Section 809 panel has completed its efforts to identify potential ways to streamline and improve the defense acquisition system. In January, the final report, volume three of three, was released, offering 98 recommendations to move defense acquisition into the 21st century.
In a follow-up in February, DoD released a Roadmap to the Section 809 Panel’s Reports, which categorizes the recommendations and shows how suggested changes to acquisition practices can generate core outcomes.
The Section 809 panel was established in 2016 by a congressional mandate and charged with evaluating the acquisition regulations and statutes applicable to the DoD, with a goal of advancing the productivity and effectiveness of the acquisition process. The latest volume focused on eliminating “non-value-added activities,” with suggestions for removing red tape that slows acquisitions.
The Panel’s reports emphasize the importance of the DOD “putting its out-of-date acquisition system on a ‘war footing’ if it is supposed to keep ahead of adversaries’ technological advances.” Although the reports were released as different volumes, all of the panel’s recommendations work in concert to support the concept of adapting to the speed of a dynamic world.
The Roadmap, which was the panel’s final report, is intended to tie together all the volumes and the initial interim report and provide both Congress and the secretary of defense a comprehensive picture of the recommendations.
At this time, the panel will terminate on July 15, but considering that the need for acquisition reform will continue, the report suggests that its findings should continue to serve as a resource during acquisition policy development.