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DoD to Update Process for IT Purchasing

DoD Deputy Chief Management Officer Beth McGrath, Photo: defense.gov

The Defense Department isn’t only in the business of buying massive, multimillion-dollar weapons programs anymore. Increasingly, Pentagon dollars, like those of many other federal agencies, are being spent on commercial off-the-shelf solutions.

But DoD is still saddled with an acquisition system geared more toward missiles than state-of-the-art IT equipment.

The department says that could all change starting this summer.

Speaking at TechAmerica’s 21st Annual CIO Survey conference earlier this week, DoD Deputy Chief Management Officer Beth McGrath said the first draft of new public guidance would be issued this summer.

“We should not be applying the DoD 5000 process to commercial off-the-shelf technology,” she said, according to a Federal News Radio report. “There is no requirement for a live-fire test, and there is no requirement to ensure the technology is mature. It doesn’t really fit when you are buying an enterprise resource planning system and trying to implement it.”

McGrath said rather than anachronistic live-fire tests, DoD should consider how new technology fits into the overall architecture.

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