The Buzz

Defense Firms Are Ready To Invest But Pentagon Must Make Good On Acquisition Reforms

“If we can give industry some reassurance that there will be a contract on the other end, that there are dollars committed behind it, then I think you will see a lot more industry putting their dollars into the game and getting us there quickly. What we are trying to do is improve collaboration with industry. That is how we see it moving forward.”

The Pentagon’s top acquisition official Ellen Lord has proposed incentivizing industry to respond to proposals in 60 days or less and to reduce by half the time it takes for the government to review proposals and award a contract. Since time really is money for these companies, a speedier contracting process matters.

The defense industry is willing to be more agile, innovative and effective. But it needs its sole customer, DoD, to be a better customer and partner. Hopefully, the new leadership at the Pentagon can make good on their promise to reform the acquisition process.

Daniel Gouré, Ph.D., is a vice president at the public-policy research think tank Lexington Institute. Goure has a background in the public sector and U.S. federal government, most recently serving as a member of the 2001 Department of Defense Transition Team. You can follow him on Twitter at @dgoure and the Lexington Institute at @LexNextDC.