The Honorable Ellen Lord, Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition and Sustainment), has repeatedly stressed that one of her office’s primary goals is to reform Defense acquisition so that it delivers capabilities at the speed of relevance to our Warfighters.
Since Dec. 31, Lord has approved the release of all six acquisition pathways that make up the Adaptive Acquisition Framework (AAF), DoD’s long-awaited rewrite of the Defense Acquisition directives commonly referred to as the “5000 series.”
Reforming this cumbersome set of documents has been a priority for Lord, who has been introducing the concepts to Congress, the defense industry, and the Defense Acquisition Workforce for several months.
“[The] way forward removes a longstanding system of bureaucracy and red tape by turning the procurement process into one that empowers users to be creative decision makers and problem solvers,” she wrote in a recent Defense Acquisition magazine article recently reprinted here by the Contracting Education Academy at Georgia Tech.
The revised 5000 series includes the introduction of the AAF, which gives acquisition professionals six different acquisition pathways: Urgent Capability Acquisition, Middle Tier of Acquisition, Major Capability Acquisition, Acquisition of Services, Defense Business Systems, and Interim Software Acquisition.
The final step of the release process involves an intricate transition that will occur when the Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) 5000.02, “Operation of the Adaptive Acquisition Framework,” is released. This new version of the 5000.02 will cancel the current 5000.02, “Operation of the Defense Acquisition System.”
Because of differences in the two documents, functional policies applicable to engineering, test, cost, etc. will be nullified. To mitigate the gap, DoDI 5000.02T (T stands for transition), “Operation of the Defense Acquisition System,” will be published to facilitate a smooth transition to AAF operations and will remain in effect until the completion of the AAF realignment.
Below are the policies that comprise the redesigned DoD 5000 series:
- DoD Instruction 5000.2, Operation of the Adaptive Acquisition Framework, Jan. 23, 2020
- DoD Instruction 5000.02T, Operation of the Defense Acquisition System, Jan. 23, 2020
- DoD Instruction 5000.74, Defense Acquisition of Services, Jan. 10, 2020
- Software Acquisition Pathway Interim Policy and Procedures, Jan. 3, 2020
- DoD Instruction 5000.75, Business Systems Requirements and Acquisition, Jan. 24, 2020
- DoD Instruction 5000.81, Urgent Capability Acquisition, Dec. 31, 2019
- DOD Instruction 5000.80 Operation of the Middle Tier of Acquisition (MTA), Dec. 30, 2019
Defense acquisition professionals are advised to check DoD’s AAF website often for the latest policy updates.