Yes, I Admit, It’s Getting Better, a Little Better

The Defense Department’s newest selected acquisition report, issued on Thursday, includes “zero Nunn-McCurdy breaches,” said Frank Kendall, Pentagon acquisition executive. The report demonstrates “there is some evidence that things are getting better” in the acquisition process, said Kendall during a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., on May 23. The SAR is the Pentagon’s periodic assessment of the cost of its major weapons programs. A Nunn-McCurdy breach informs Congress that a program’s cost has shot up 15 percent or more. Rolling out “Best Buying Practices 2.0,” a new slate of initiatives to reduce costs and improve results, Kendall noted, “We’re getting some complimentary reports from the [Government Accountability Office] for the first time in my memory,” as well. While he doesn’t want to “make too much of two data points,” he said the milestones indicate that DOD is “moving in the right direction.” Kendall said he believes in evolutionary, rather than sudden, transformational steps to improve processes. “Evolutionary, yes, but transformational over time. If we continue to make improvements on the margin—and that’s what this is all about—we will get transformational results,” he said.