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DoD, DHS Officials: Tech Evaluation Should Be Part of Acquisition Process

acquisition policyThe departments of Defense and Homeland Security want their project managers to assess technology products early in the acquisition process to identify potential performance issues, Federal News Radio reported Wednesday.

Jason Miller writes that Michael Gilmore, operational test and evaluation director at DoD, believes that scientists and engineers should have a say in requirements development.

“I think engineers and scientists need to be just as involved in generating requirements as the operators,” Gilmore told the radio station.

“Certainly the operators must be involved. The operators are the people engaged in the fight, trying to kill the enemy so they aren’t killed, trying to prevail on the battlefield and protect our security,” he added, according to the station.

He also recommended that procurement officials create a testing, evaluation and operations framework before issuing requests for proposals.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) have asked government and industry stakeholders to suggest methods for improving the military acquisition system.

Miller reports that Steve Hutchinson, acting director of acquisition support and operational analysis at DHS’ science and technology directorate, has said the department is working to align evaluation work with the agency’s mission agenda.

“By aligning to mission, it gives our personnel a better understanding of mission space and how the capability is going to be used and that will provide us a better evaluation and test design to answer that so what question,” Hutchinson told the station.

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