The Department of Defense (DoD) is moving to build on efforts to obtain greater efficiency and productivity in the acquisition process, according to Frank Kendall, DoD’s Under Secretary for Acquisition, Logistics, and Logistics.

Speaking at the 31st Annual Government Contract Management Conference, Kendall described his latest moves to improve the acquisition process.  He said his job is “about getting as much value as possible for the taxpayers.”  The current deficit problems facing the nation mean that DoD has “to do its share,” he underscored.

Kendall described acquisition as the entire acquisition enterprise, not just buying equipment and weapons for the military forces.  Acquisition includes technology and logistics and “sustain(ing) the force over time,” Kendall said.  “The readiness side of it is very much a part of this,” he stressed.

He said his approach builds on the principles set two years ago in DoD’s “Better Buying Power” initiatives:  Target affordability and control cost growth; Incentivize productivity and innovation in industry; Promote real competition; Improve tradecraft in services acquisition; and Reduce non-productive processes and bureaucracy.  DoD will now move on to what Kendall calls “Better Buying Power 2.0.” 

Rewriting the DoD acquisition instruction (DoD) 5000.02 is a main component of acquisition improvement.  Kendall said the re-write is needed for a number of reasons.  New laws affecting DOD acquisition need to be incorporated into the instruction, he explained.  The changing nature of acquisition including different types of products and different ways to structure programs also need to be addressed in the instruction, Kendall emphasized. 

Kendall stressed he wants to put more quantitative and data analysis into determining how well the process is working.  He said he will prepare a report evaluating the performance of the acquisition system.  DoD will “try to look at the data and try to understand that actually works and how much it works,” he said.  The report should be completed by the beginning of 2013, he said.