GAO Finds Challenges to Monitor Major DoD Acquisition Programs

Jeff Brody

The Government Accountability Office called on the Pentagon to clarify acquisition oversight roles amid disagreement between the Office of the Secretary of Defense and military branches in monitoring how the agency buys technologies. A new report issued Wednesday highlights the challenges facing the Department of Defense in implementing reforms to restructure the oversight of defense acquisition programs.

Part of the reforms is moving the decision-making authority from OSD to military departments. However, GAO found that balancing oversight, accountability and efficient program management has been a challenge for DoD as the armed forces take on the responsibility. 

“Without consistent oversight, DoD is not well positioned to ensure that these programs—some of which are multibillion dollar acquisitions—are likely to meet expectations for delivering prototypes or capability to the warfighter quickly,” GAO said. 

The watchdog report recommends DoD clarify responsibilities of OSD and military departments for acquisition oversight. GAO added the Pentagon should also promote consistent monitoring of middle-tier acquisition programs consistently.

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