Thursday, November 12, 2015

New Advisory Panel to be Formed to Streamline Acquisition Regulations

 One of the provisions in the Fiscal Year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is a requirement for the Department of Defense to convene an advisory panel on streamlining and codifying acquisition regulations. Although the President vetoed the bill last month and it is being reworked, the advisory panel provision will undoubtedly remain. It is not one of the disputed items. The duties of the advisory panel are two-fold:

  1. Review the acquisition regulations applicable to the Department of Defense with a view toward streamlining and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the defense acquisition process and maintaining defense technology advantage and
  2. Make any recommendations for the amendment or repeal of such regulations that the panel considers necessary to: 

    • establish and administer appropriate buyer and seller relationships in the procurement system
    • improve the functioning of the acquisition system
    • ensure the continuing financial and ethical integrity of defense procurement programs
    • protect the best interests of the DoD and
    • eliminate any regulations that are unnecessary. 

25 years ago, a similar panel was convened and became known as the Section 800 panel. Recommendations from this panel led to a few acquisition reforms such as the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act (FASA) and the Clinger-Cohen Act. In the intervening years, the Senate Armed Services Committee believes that the acquisition system is again burdened by unnecessary laws and regulations that are creating incentives to slow down acquisition and not obtain the best value when purchasing goods and services for the Defense Department and the taxpayer.

The panel will be composed of nine recognized experts in acquisition laws, regulations, and policy. Persons appointed to the advisory panel must be able to devote a substantial amount of time to the effort, not operating as a board that directs the work of a staff but actually performing the primary work.

The panel will have two years to complete its work.

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