Defense Commercial Vendors Coalition Helps Incorporate Better Use of Commercial Technology Provisions Into FY2009 National Defense Authorization Act
The efforts of the Defense Commercial Vendors Coalition and others have led Congress to strengthen enforcement provisions related to the use of commercial technology by DoD. The FY2009 NDAA requires more comprehensive market research and reporting on DoD progress in this area of the acquisitions process. This will lead to cost savings and quicker provision of needed tools to the defense and intelligence communities.
Section 826 of the NDAA serves to enforce the implementation of legislative language added last year, requiring market research to prevent technology reinvention. Congress is now requesting an implementation report, due by October 1, 2009, outlining the steps that the Secretary of Defense has taken to encourage better market research and to supply the appropriate tools to support contracting officials in their search.
Section 803 of the new Act requires that contracting officials identify and evaluate the use of commercial computer software “at all stages of the acquisition process (including concept refinement, concept decision, and technology development).”
Persistent efforts of groups like the DCVC, the SARA Acquisition Advisory Panel, and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) have supplied the force behind these reforms, citing many cases of wasteful technology development practices.
“The reinforcement of market research language is a strong step forward in creating a more competitive defense acquisition marketplace, ensuring that the national security community receives the best technology in the most efficient manner,” says Ian Musselman, executive director of the DCVC.
Dr. Sally Baron, an independent consultant whose primary focus is increasing applications of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) tools in the government, remarks: “Market research has been woefully neglected in the acquisition process and should occur long before custom technology is developed for the government. This neglect has naturally led to reinvention. The new language insertions in Sections 803 and 826 are giant leaps in the right direction.” Dr. Baron is a special advisor to the DCVC and received her Ph.D. from Stanford University where she worked with former Secretary of Defense William Perry.
Interviews with Dr. Sally Baron or other DCVC experts may be scheduled by request at email@example.com.
The DCVC, a Washington, DC-based industry association, actively promotes federal acquisition reform in order to foster the development of a truly competitive marketplace. For more information on the DCVC, its initiatives, and membership options, visit www.DCVC.org.