Young Alters Procurement Rules

Pentagon acquisition guru John Young has signed off on revisions to DOD acquisition procedures in DOD Instruction 5000.02, marked as “the first major change” to the department’s buying policy in “over five years,” according to a Dec. 2 Pentagon release summarizing the changes. Among those changes: implementation of a materiel development decision review to ensure programs have “approved requirements and a rigorous assessment of alternatives”; competitive prototyping of the system or key components in the technology development phase; more frequent and more effective program reviews to measure progress; implementation of configuration steering boards to head off requirements creep; independent reviews to certify technology maturity before proceeding to final development; and test and evaluation at every acquisition development phase to identify and correct technical and operational problems early. In the statement, Young said that military procurement policies “must be more disciplined and effective to ensure that results are more predictable and that we are better stewards of taxpayer dollars.” Young has been highly critical of the Air Force’s high-profile acquisition efforts, most recently the CSAR-X helicopter replacement program, even going so far as to question whether there’s really a need for a new dedicated combat search and rescue aircraft.