Fundamental Changes Are Needed to Improve Weapon Program Outcomes
by reader ilsm
Don’t ask, don’t tell: whether anything in DoD is worth the expense of scarce national resources.
Read GAO Testimony: Fundamental Changes Are Needed to Improve Weapon Program Outcomes
In 2000 the defense acquisition portfolio was: 75 programs with planned commitments of $790B, increases from planned R&D of 27% and average schedule delay of 16 months.
In 2005 the defense acquisition portfolio was: 91 programs with planned commitments of $1500B, increases from planned R&D of 33% and average schedule delay of 17 months.
In 2007 the defense acquisition portfolio was: 95 programs with planned commitments of $1600B and increases from planned R&D of 40% and average schedule delay of 21months.
The testimony notes that decisions are not based on knowledge, a recurring cultural theme, and that requirements are neither known nor translated into engineering specifications which can be tested to meet the needs. Generally, requirements are based on the last war and the marketing plans of people concerned about the “health of the industry”.
The GAO data shows that as the portfolio grows over runs and schedule delays increase. One externality should be considered inbreeding in the acquisition work force. Since 2000 penalties (reduced annuities) for retired military officers who take civil service jobs have been eliminated and the revolving door for military retirees has diluted the competence of career civil servant ranks in the higher grades. Hiring O-6 captains and colonels is insidious, and contributes to the diminishing effectiveness of the defense acquisition process.
This confirms something I have seen. My conclusion is the defense acquisition work force is broken in large part due to the revolving door. No one will risk their “career” to tell the boss the “emperor has no clothes”.
by reader ilsm