The Department of Defense (DoD) introduced a preliminary version of “Better Buying Power 2.0,” the latest step in DoD’s continuing effort to improve acquisition practices. 

Deputy Secretary Ashton Carter and Under Secretary for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Frank Kendall briefed reporters at the Pentagon this week on the status of DOD’s acquisition improvement program, the components of ‘Better Buying Power 2.0,” and the next steps in the program.

Carter told reporters the first step in efforts to “get more capability to the warfighter and more value for the taxpayer by obtaining greater efficiency and productivity on defense spending” was “Better Buying Power 1.0,” issued in November 2010.  He described a few of the successes that have resulted from the initial set of initiatives.  The Navy, he said, reduced the projected cost of the Ohio-class submarine replacement program by $2 billion by targeting affordability and “scrubbing requirements.”  The Air Force has applied these same principles to its long range strike family of systems, and the Army lowered cost and production time for buying ammunition through more competition and increase small business participation, he explained.

Carter told reporters that DoD has gained much experience during the past two years and continues to make “course corrections” to the first set of initiatives.  DoD executives also continue to work with industry partners, who have recommended many new ideas, he said.  This experience led to Better Buying Power (BBP) 2.0.

Kendall then briefed reporters on the new set of initiatives.  BBP 2.0 is organized into seven focus areas:  Achieve affordable programs; Control costs throughout the produce lifecycle; Incentivize productivity and innovation; Eliminate unproductive processes and bureaucracy; Promote effective competition; Improve Tradecraft in Acquisition; and Improve the total acquisition workforce.  There are 36 initiatives included in these focus areas.  BBP 1.0 contained 23 initiatives in five focus areas.

Kendall said BBP 2.0 has some new approaches, but still hews to the same goal:  “finding ways to reduce cost and control costs and get more value for — for our warfighters and the taxpayer."  A new focus area is geared toward supporting and improving the total acquisition workforce.  Initiatives for this area will set higher standards for managers, establish more rigorous qualification requirements, increase recognition of excellence, and increase cost consciousness of the workforce.

A memo from Kendall to the acquisition workforce describes each initiative in the seven focus areas of the preliminary version of BBP 2.0.  Stakeholders in government, industry, and Congress have two months to review and provide comments.  After the comment period, Kendall’s office will draft implementation guidance.  In January 2013, Kendall expects to release a memo that will “outline the specific goals and requirements for each initiative included in the final BBP 2.0.”