February 27, 2017

Defense Secretary Mattis has rare, brief chance for Pentagon reform

By Ben FitzGerald, Alexandra Sander and Madeline Christian

In a few days, the Pentagon will submit an interim report to Congress in response to the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) providing an update on Secretary James Mattis’ plans for reorganizing the office of Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (AT&L) — the largest office within the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) in terms of personnel and budget.

Should the Pentagon focus too closely on Section 901 of the NDAA — which mandates the creation of the Under Secretary for Defense for Research and Engineering and the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition of Sustainment — and merely moves boxes around on a cluttered organizational chart in response, it may miss the greatest opportunity for fundamental acquisition change in decades.

Over the past two years Congress has pushed the Department of Defense (DoD) hard to rethink the business of acquisition, providing new authorities and incentives to adapt to shifting centers of technological innovation and a complex and evolving threat landscape.

Read the full article on The Hill.

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