The congressionally-mandated panel in charge of finding ways to streamline the Defense acquisition system called last Thursday for dramatic changes in how the Defense Department organizes itself to define requirements for weapons systems and manage its procurement budgets, saying DoD must move to a “portfolio-centric” approach to procuring military equipment.
In the second volume of its report to Congress, the Section 809 Panel said the Pentagon’s current decision making and incentive structures are far too focused on individual weapons programs, not on broader portfolios of capabilities.
In a related problem, the panel said the three broader communities within DoD that are in charge of deciding what to buy, prioritizing funding for those systems, and actually conducting procurements, are too siloed to make the sorts of quick, agile decisions needed to deliver military capabilities that are relevant to the modern battlefield.
“The highly centralized management framework of each support system fosters inconsistent accountability and responsibility,” the panel wrote. “Decision-making processes that focus on individual programs instead of enterprise capabilities as a whole cultivate a system bereft of flexibility, speed, and innovation.”