Defense

November 14, 2012

Defense officials preview ‘Better Buying Power 2.0′ initiative

Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter Nov. 13 unveiled a proposed new phase of the Defense Department’s “Better Buying Power” initiative that since 2010 has shaped the department’s acquisition arm to “do more without more.”

Carter told reporters during a Pentagon briefing that when he, as undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, and then-Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates announced the first round of “efficiencies” aimed at trimming defense spending, Gates “foresaw, correctly, that the days of ever-increasing defense budgets were coming to an end.”

Better Buying Power, introduced in September 2010, was the acquisition contribution to the efficiencies initiative, Carter said.

“It was directed at the $400 billion that the department spends annually on goods and services, … to get more capability for the warfighter and more value for the taxpayer by obtaining greater efficiency and productivity in defense spending what economists call ‘productivity growth,’” he explained.

Now, after planning for a $487 billion decrease in spending over the next decade, the department will incorporate some lessons its members have learned since 2010 when it rolls out the final version of Better Buying Power 2.0 early in 2013, Carter said.

The deputy secretary said hundreds of examples exist of Defense Department acquisition executives putting the Better Buying Power principles into practice. “Each of these examples shows what we can achieve if we rededicate ourselves to acquisition best practices,” he added.

Carter then handed the briefing off to Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics. Kendall noted the department’s proposed plan for the updated initiative will be open for review and comment for two months before a final version takes effect.

Kendall described the seven broad focus areas for the new defense buying initiative:

 

  • Achieve affordable programs;
  • Control costs throughout the product life cycle;
  • Offer incentives for productivity and innovation in industry and government;
  • Eliminate unproductive processes and bureaucracy;
  • Promote effective competition;
  • Improve tradecraft in acquisition of services; and
  • Improve the professionalism of the total acquisition workforce.

 

Kendall noted the new version includes some 36 initiatives grouped under those seven headings. In some cases, he said, they replace the original 23 initiatives in five focus areas.

“It turns out that defense acquisition is a pretty complicated subject,” he noted. “And there aren’t easy, simple solutions that are going to … reform acquisition and make everything … better overnight with one or two policy changes.”

Lack of productivity — both in government’s bureaucratic processes and in industry “cycle time” – is one complicated area the acquisition chief said he thinks a lot about, and which carries over from the original 2010 initiative. Cycle time, he said, translates into “how long it takes us to get products to the field” – and he added that he’s “very unhappy” with the answer.

“It’s taking much too long, as far as I’m concerned,” Kendall said. “And I have several efforts under way to try to understand what the root cause of that is.” Delays can occur at many stages, he noted – in setting and changing requirements, in testing, and even in production.

“Is industry not as agile as it once was? There are a number of possible causes there, and it’s probably some combination of them all, together. … But I would definitely like to reduce cycle times,” he said.

The new effort brings new approaches, but the same aim, to defense acquisition as 2010′s Better Buying Power initiative, Kendall said: to give troops fighting the nation’s wars the best equipment, and to get good value for every taxpayer dollar.

Kendall said he sees results from the two-year-old effort, but he echoed defense leaders’ statements for months past when he warned that such progress, and any plans to achieve deliberate cost savings, will wither if the Budget Control Act’s sequester mechanism takes effect in January.

Sequestration would trigger an additional $500 billion in across-the-board defense spending cuts over the next decade if Congress fails to agree on an alternative.

“It’s a horrible way to take money out [of the defense budget],” he said. “It really flies in the face of everything we’re trying to accomplish here.”

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

News Briefs July 28, 2014

Marines seek authorization for dolphin deaths The Marine Corps is asking for a five-year authorization from the National Marine Fisheries Service for incidental deaths of bottlenose dolphins during training exercises at a bombing and target range. The Sun Journal of New Bern, N.C., reports that Connie Barclay of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says...
 
 
Army photograph by David Vergun

Senior leaders explain Army’s drawdown plan

Army photograph by David Vergun No commander is happy when notified that a soldier from his or her command has been identified for early separation. But commanders personally notify those Soldiers and ensure participation in th...
 
 

Northrop Grumman awarded mission support services contract

The U.S. Army awarded Northrop Grumman a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, with a potential value of $205 million, to continue providing mission logistics services in support of combat brigades training at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif. The contract covers one base year and two one-year options. Support will include the full range of mission...
 

 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom

F-35 Rollout Marks U.S.-Australia Partnership Milestone

Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown delivers his remarks at the roll out ceremony for Australia’s first F-35. The official rollout of the first two F-35 Lightning II...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech image

NASA’s Mars spacecraft maneuvers to prepare for close comet flyby

NASA/JPL-Caltech image This graphic depicts the orbit of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as it swings around the sun in 2014. On Oct. 19, the comet will have a very close pass at Mars. Its nucleus will miss Mars by about 82,000 m...
 
 

Lockheed Martin completes operational flight tests of GMLRS alternative warhead

DALLAS, July 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ –†Lockheed Martin has successfully completed all Developmental Test/Operational Test flight tests for the new Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Alternative Warhead at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The DT/OT tests included rockets fired at both mid and long range. All rockets were fired from a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>