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New Democrat Coalition Proposes Professional Background for Acquisition Program Managers

CongressA group of lawmakers wants to require defense program managers to have the technical and academic background to lead a particular program in a move to “professionalize” the field, Defense News reported Friday.

John Bennett writes that the New Democrat Coalition has submitted a report recommending military acquisition reforms based on an evaluation of the current qualifications and performance of the acquisition workforce.

“This has been a lifelong crusade to provide the right career and promotion path,” David Berteau, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the publication.

“You have to have the right interface for what’s best and what works for acquisition, and what’s best and what works for the rest of [the promotion] system.”

NDC proposes that the comptroller general review the applicability and effectiveness of the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act, the overall results achieved by current acquisition teams, and the education and experience requirement for program managers on acquisition and the particular technology they will manage, the report said.

Bennett reports that Berteau and other analysts have previously urged the Senate Armed Services Committee to consider changes to the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act of 1980 to reform the promotion system in the military.

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