Think Bold. That’s the slogan of the so-called “Section 809 Panel,” a special commission created by Congress to review the full spate of federal (and defense-unique) acquisition laws, rules and practices.
The goal is to provide lawmakers with a set of recommendations for legislative or administrative redress that will help improve the speed and performance of the defense acquisition system and open its aperture to the full array of available capabilities.
At a recent but little noticed hearing before the House Armed Services Committee, panel chair Deirdre Lee and several of her fellow panelists made eminently clear the need for substantial change, stating outright that the current acquisition system is simply incapable of getting the job done. The pace and scope of technological developments, the changing nature of the requisite workforce, the dramatic shift in technology ownership and leadership, and the numerous regulatory and policy requirements that too often wall the government off from needed solutions were among the reasons the panelists were so unanimous in their belief that truly bold action is required. And that’s exactly what they promised their final report would deliver.