The Section 809 Panel recently concluded its monumental analysis of defense acquisition law and regulations and released its third volume of recommended changes. The Panel’s work stands out from previous acquisition reform efforts with the appendices of detailed legislative and regulatory changes that accompany the commissioners’ analysis and recommendations.
Given the scope of the Panel’s work, few believe that Congress or the Department of Defense (DoD) will — or even could — simply adopt the recommendations in full. Legislative bandwidth for additional acquisition reform is finite, and some of the Panel’s recommendations will prompt robust debate. In this post, we analyze some of the recommendations that government contractors should follow most closely. We highlight key issues and address the political dynamics involved in enacting them.
The Section 809 Panel, established by Congress in Section 809 of the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”) to address issues with Defense acquisition policies, recently released the third and final volume of its report. Volume III contains 58 recommendations for how to reform the way DoD purchases commercial products, manages acquisition programs, trains its acquisition workforce, adjudicates contract disputes, and communicates with industry, among other issues. On February 13, Covington and the National Defense Industrial Association convened and hosted an Industry Day, during which members of the Panel and leading acquisitions experts discussed the findings.