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DoD Puts Own Spin on IT Acquisition Reform

Photo: dod.gov

Following an overhaul of federal IT announced at the White House last week, the Defense Department is now getting in on IT reform, with plans to change the way it buys, funds and manages its IT, according to a report on FierceGovernmentIT.com

Echoing remarks by federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra about the state of federal IT governmentwide, a new DoD report says the department’s current budget process is not properly aligned with the fast-paced and ever-shifting world of IT.

The plan aims to:

§  Streamline IT budgets to a single appropriations source, which will allow for greater flexibility

§  Set up a revolving fund for IT, similar to the National Defense Sealift Fund, where leftover money is pooled into an account

§  Allow DoD to realign funding, which would allow it greater authority over funding projects

Another key pillar of the plan would change how the Pentagon keeps tabs on projects and acquisitions.

Rather than the traditional milestone structure, the plan would implement more periodic reviews using a template, such as the Business Lifecycle Capability.

Ashton Carter, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, talked up the Business Capability Lifecycle recently for its business systems worth more than $1 million.

In a comparison of the Pentagon’s plans and the recent reforms enacted by the Office of Management and Budget, FierceGovernmentIT finds the two plans don’t appear to be in conflict, “although the emphasis of the OMB plan — with its stress on cloud computing and data — differs markedly from the DoD plan, which appears to concentrate more on acquisition and process.”

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