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GAO: DoD Forms Advisory Panel, DIUx to Address Contracting Challenges Faced by ‘Non-Traditional’ Firms

The Government Accountability Office has interviewed representatives from 12 “non-traditional companies” or firms that do not typically engage in business with the Defense Department and found challenges across six areas that keep them from developing platforms for military purposes.

These challenges include complexity of process within DoD, unsteady budget, long duration of contracting process, issues with intellectual property rights, lack of experienced contracting personnel at DoD and government-specific contract conditions and terms, GAO said in a report published Thursday.

The report also found that DoD has initiated measures to comply with the requirements of a law passed by Congress that seeks to help the department leverage technology platforms developed by non-traditional firms.

One of those measures is the establishment in 2015 of the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental that aims to collaborate with non-traditional companies and accelerate agreements within a 60-day period, according to the congressional watchdog.

The Pentagon also created an advisory panel in an effort to determine opportunities to facilitate the procurement process, such as offering recommendations on policies that should be scrapped.

The 18-member panel is set to release a final report in 2018, the report added.

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