Accession Number : ADA314891

Title :   The Ghosts of Acquisition Reform: Past, Present and Future.

Descriptive Note : Research rept. Aug 95-Apr 96,

Corporate Author : INDUSTRIAL COLL OF THE ARMED FORCES WASHINGTON DC

Personal Author(s) : Reeves, Stephen V.

PDF Url : ADA314891

Report Date : APR 1996

Pagination or Media Count : 42

Abstract : Since the Revolutionary War, critics have referred to defense acquisition as primitive practices, hobbled by complex rules, conducted by untrained personnel, resulting in defense industry profiteering, poor supplies and equipment, and cost and schedule overruns. In response, over the next 200 years, Congress passed more than 4000 acquisition related statutes, the General Accounting Office issued more than 900 reports, and since World War II 12 major commissions and panels have made acquisition reform recommendations. Yet in introducing the Acquisition Reform Act of 1995, Senator Roth stated; 'Recent reports from the Defense Department and the General Accounting Office highlight the need for reform. In short, the Defense Department has become increasingly unable to produce the best technology in an affordable manner, when it is needed. The vast majority of weapons acquisition programs are experiencing severe cost and schedule problems.' Given all previous acquisition reform attempts, is the defense acquisition process inherently flawed and beyond repair? This paper evaluates the effectiveness of previous reform attempts as a roadmap to present and future acquisition reform. The paper also examines potential roadblocks inherent in the government acquisition process and considers the need and the possibilities for systemic change. The reader is provided a brief background of pre-World War II acquisition reforms. These reform efforts provide the basis for many of today's acquisition laws, regulations, and issues. This paper then provides a summary and analysis of the findings of modern (post World War II) defense acquisition commissions and panels. Finally, the paper concludes with an analysis of systemic acquisition issues, current acquisition reform initiatives, and an evaluation of these initiatives as a basis for future action.

Descriptors :   *ACQUISITION, *HISTORY, *MILITARY PROCUREMENT, *CORRECTIONS, WEAPONS, CONGRESS, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, GLOBAL, TRAINING, PROBLEM SOLVING, COSTS, REPAIR, SCHEDULING, DEFENSE INDUSTRY, POSTWAR OPERATIONS, COST OVERRUNS.

Subject Categories : Administration and Management
      Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
      Economics and Cost Analysis
      Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE