Mac Thornberry, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, thinks government ought to be able to take advantage of the robust world of online marketplaces (think Amazon or EBay).
Thus, he has included in the House version of the 2018 defense authorization bill a provision authorizing just that. Since there is no similar language in the Senate bill, the provision will be decided in conference committee, although significant opposition jeopardizes its survival.
In truth, it shouldn’t be a question at all. There is no reason the government cannot or should not be a part of this global shift. The only question should be how to make it work.
First, we have to answer the core question of the extent to which the government is willing to let go of longstanding acquisition policies and requirements.