Congress, through the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), established the Section 809 Panel to address fundamental problems with how the Defense Department acquires goods and services to support its warfighters.
The Section 809 Panel was charged with reviewing the acquisition regulations and statutes applicable to DoD with a view toward streamlining and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the defense acquisition process.
Congress expected the Panel to make recommendations for the amendment or repeal of regulations and statutes. In May 2017, the Panel issued an interim report advocating in broad strokes for a host of improvements to the acquisition system to better streamline the process and increase industry offerings to the government. Next, in January 2018, the Panel issued the first it what would become a three volume report.
In the first volume, the Panel focused on developing what it called a new “dynamic marketplace framework” to respond to the Panel’s research which showed that the current acquisition process is an “obstacle to DoD’s ability to access a marketplace that has moved far beyond the traditional defense industrial base of the Cold War era.”
In its second volume, issued in June 2018, the Panel focused its attention on improving DoD’s existing “over-managed system” to more readily meet warfighter needs. The report identified improvements needed in the acquisition workforce, source selection, cost accounting, and contracting for services.
The third volume of analysis and recommendations was released last month (January 2019). It contained 58 recommendations (and associated sub-recommendations) which added to the 40 previous recommendations (and sub-recommendations) contained in volumes one and two.
The Panel’s latest work product was issued on February 14, 2019. It is a summary report that breaks-out all 98 recommendations into four categories:
- Leverage the Dynamic Marketplace
- Allocate Resources Effectively
- Enable the Workforce
- Simplify Acquisition
The Section 809 Panel’s summary report can be downloaded at: https://section809panel.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Sec809Panel_Roadmap_2019-02-14_web.pdf