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DoD’s Darlene Costello on Early Adoption of Testing, Evaluation in Acquisition

Darlene Costello
Darlene Costello

Defense Department officials espoused this week the agency’s mission to elevate testing and evaluation as key aspects of the acquisition process, FCW reported Wednesday.

Sean Lyngaas writes Darlene Costello, DoD principal deputy assistant secretary, speaking at a National Defense Industrial Association conference, explained that the Pentagon developed the guidance because it sought to provide industry with a clearer picture on contract requirements even before any request for proposal is made.

David Brown, DoD deputy assistant secretary for developmental test and evaluation, also touted the policy, referring to RFP as ideally the point where a total exchange of ideas takes place.

“It’s at that (RFP) point that we establish that vital partnership between defense industry and defense acquisition,” Brown told participants of the Washington event.

“The more information that transfers at that point and the better that information is, then the better we start our program and the better chances we have of acquisition success,” he added.

Costello did not rule out the inevitable impact future sequestration could have on how and what the government will purchase for national defense, but noted that the time is now to prepare for it.

“There are more things out there that the warfighter would like to have that we’re not even planning… so anything we can do to make our process more efficient and find some savings would be very beneficial to the whole enterprise,” she said.

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