Pentagon Admits Implementing New Acquisition Reforms Will Be ‘Challenging’

Kevin Fahey, assistant secretary of defense for acquisition, said the Pentagon expects to face challenges implementing the acquisition reforms suggested by a new panel established by Congress, National Defense Magazine reported Wednesday. Congress established the Section 809 Panel in 2016 to guide the Department of Defense in the changes to how it buys new technologies. 

In a report released in January, the panel increased its recommendations to nearly 100 for acquisition reforms across DoD with 58 new proposals. The proposals aim to create a new acquisition system at the Pentagon. Fahey said DoD agreed with the panel’s proposals. However, the agency said it would be difficult to implement many on the list. 

“There is a lot of good stuff” in the report, he said. “But to go through and prioritize and figure out how we can actually implement it is challenging.” 

But Fahey also said the agency plans to launch some programs and initiatives to improve the acquisition process. DoD intends to test a portfolio management initiative this year focusing on the military's nuclear command, control and communications enterprise. The agency also looks to rewrite certain defense acquisition guidelines known as DoD 5000 to update the instructions for following Pentagon acquisition rules.

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