Testifying before the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee this week, General Accountability Office (GAO) witnesses, called early and effective planning key to better managing DoD’s acquisition risk. Led by Paul Francis, Managing Director for Acquisition and Sourcing Management, the GAO team of witnesses noted that even after years of efforts to reform DoD’s acquisition process, weapons system and contract management remain on GAO’s high risk list. They acknowledged that recently–passed reform management legislation and DoD-initiated improvements to the acquisition process could have positive results. But, they argued that to produce real long-lasting improvement, DoD and the Congress must start reform efforts in the planning stage, where making the right decisions is critical to overall success. In addition, the witnesses stated that when DoD selects contracting types and pricing arrangements for weapons acquisition, it must consider the advantages provided by competition. Doing so will save money, improve contractor performance, and promote accountability. Finally, they maintained that having the necessary number of the right people, performing the right jobs is essential to acquisition program success. Here, they argued that the acquisition workforce size and capability has not kept pace with the significant increase in funding for acquisition programs and related services. GAO cited the lack of up-to-date information on the current workforce as hindering efforts to make sure it is sized properly and has the correct skill sets to be successful.