Beyond Business as Usual: Improving Defense Acquisition through Better Buying Power
On behalf of the IBM Center for The Business of Government, we are pleased to present this report, Beyond Business as Usual: Improving Defense Acquisition through Better Buying Power, by Zachary S Huitink and David M Van Slyke, Syracuse University.
This is one of the first full-scale examinations of the Department of Defense’s “Better Buying Power” initiatives that were launched in 2010 by current Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter in his previous position as Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics. The goal of the initiative is to get more for each dollar DOD spends on buying goods and services. Three iterations of Better Buying Power have been issued, most recently in April 2015 when Better Buying Power 3.0 was announced.
Huitink and Van Slyke examine the following core initiatives of Better Buying Power:
- Achieving affordability and controlling costs
- Promoting competition
- Providing incentives
- Reducing bureaucracy
- Improving services acquisition
For each core initiative, the authors examine the motivation for the initiative, experience to date, and the challenges facing each. The report sets forth eight lessons learned about implementing acquisition reform.
Although Better Buying Power was launched within the Department of Defense, the report’s authors conclude that there is government-wide applicability of the initiative. The report concludes with three government-wide recommendations:
- Continue to pursue the idea of “agile” acquisition
- Maintain and enhance the focus on improving services acquisition
- Further efforts to build partnerships outside the traditional defense industrial base
The report continues the IBM Center’s long interest in acquisition. Recent IBM reports on acquisition include:
- Eight Actions to Improve Defense Acquisition by Jacques S. Gansler and William Lucyshyn
- A Guide for Agency Leaders on Federal Acquisition: Major Challenges Facing Government by Trevor L Brown
We hope that all government leaders who are interested in improving acquisition in their organization will find this report useful and informative.
Listen to our podcast with the authors.
Read an article about this report in GovExec.
Read an article about this report in Inside Defense.
Read an article about the report in Federal Computer Week.