The House Armed Service Committee’s (HASC) Defense Reform Panel, in an interim report issued this week, recommended a wide-ranging revamping of the defense acquisition system.  According to the report, DoD should:  1) create a new performance management and audit function (in a GAO-like capacity); 2) reform the requirements process with the Vice Chairman of the JCS as the goal leader; 3) better match acquisition policy to requirements; 4) review policies and instructions regarding obligation and expenditure benchmarks to determine and ensure their most effective use; and 5) ensure that the acquisition workforce is adequately and appropriately staffed and trained.  HASC chair Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO) set up the Defense Reform Panel to conduct a comprehensive review of DoD’s acquisition system.  The panel found that DoD’s acquisition system has not kept pace with substantial changes that have occurred in the nature of defense acquisition.  For example, the panel noted that although DoD is modernizing in the current information environment, the acquisition system is not designed to effectively acquire information technology.  And, in pointed criticism, the report charged that the acquisition system too often fails to meet the needs of the warfighter in a timely, cost effective manner.  The panel also expressed concern that DoD’s inability to provide accurate and timely financial information inhibited effective acquisition management.  The final report is still under review and should be issued in a few weeks.