Can the Department of Defense Make Bold, Radical Changes to its Acquisition Process?

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Is commercial item acquisition the pathway for the Department of Defense (DoD) to fulfill its goal of having better access to the latest technological advances, and do DoD’s current acquisition rules and regulations hinder that goal?

Do commercial contractors think selling to the Federal Government, particularly to the DoD, is a worthwhile endeavor?

Are there too many DoD procurement regulations; and are the current regulations relevant?

A body of experts commissioned by Congress in the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is addressing these questions and more.  According to its charter, the Section 809 Advisory Panel on Streamlining and Codifying Acquisition Regulations (the Panel) was established to make radical and bold recommendations for changes to the current DoD acquisition processes. The Panel is reviewing DoD-specific acquisition regulations to see which ones make sense and which impede the agility of the process and therefore may be unnecessary.

The Panel is comprised of different working groups with the goal of asking and answering significant acquisition questions and making recommendations for improvements. The hope is that the answers to these questions can simplify DoD’s acquisition processes, which currently can result in contracts taking one to two years to be awarded. DoD wants to be able to take advantage of fast-moving technology, which doesn’t always happen when its own regulations get in the way.

Congress expects the Panel to provide detailed, actionable recommendations in its report, currently due in August 2018. To find out more about the Section 809 Panel, including its members and meeting schedule, visit their website. If you are interested in participating in the process, the Panel’s website includes an interface for the public to submit its comments and recommendations.

Stay tuned to Aronson FedPoint for continued coverage on the Section 809 Panel and its progress, and subscribe to get notifications whenever new content is posted. For more information, contact Shawne Carroll at 240.364.2716 or


About Shawne Carroll

As a managing consultant in Aronson’s Government Contract Services Group, Shawne Carroll assists her clients with GSA Schedule contract preparation, renewals, and ongoing contract management, administration, and compliance support. Prior to joining the Aronson team, Shawne served in a number of progressive positions where she acquired diverse government contract support experience, including GSA Schedule contract management. Shawne received her bachelor’s degree from Hampton University and an Acquisition and Procurement Certificate from Northern Virginia Community College.

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