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DoD to Contractors: Tell Us Which Policies Impede Cost Savings

Photo: Air Force

As the Defense Department seeks to bolster its better buying strategies, led by procurement chief Ashton Carter, the Pentagon is now reaching out to the defense industry to help identify DoD practices that hamper cost savings.

A notice published last week in the Federal Register requested information from contractors and DoD’s other private-sector partners to identify which DoD policies and regulations actually get in the way of saving money.

DoD “understands that some of its mandates, reporting requirements and other acquisition practices encourage industry to adopt processes and make investments that increase costs, especially overhead costs, but do not contribute to value added in systems and services delivered to the department,” the notice reads.

So, DoD wants its industrial base — the government contractors it does business with — to “identify these costs, backed by specific credible, convincing data.”

In other words, DoD is open to contractor complaints, but it wants facts to back them up.

The latest call for industry input follows a similar solicitation for comments last summer focusing on ways to cut back on “non-value-added costs,” Federal News Radio reported. That call to action prompted 500 comments, and Carter used some of them to formulate the 23-point strategy for Pentagon purchasing, he has said in recent speeches.

The current request for comments runs until March 31. Because company submissions are likely to contain proprietary information, the notice assures them the information will be exempt from Freedom of Information Act requests and will only be used in formulating DoD policy.

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