The Department of Defense needs to implement further controls
in its defense acquisitions process even though its revised
policy emphasizes practices similar to those used by
successful private sector companies such as mandating
certain knowledge requirements to justify decisions and a
commitment to a malleable acquisitions process, the General
Accounting Office has said.
DOD added guidance in May of 2003 on how weapon systems
acquisitions should be managed in order to reduce the risk
of cost and schedule overruns as it prepares to invest over
$1 trillion from fiscal years 2003 to 2009. GAO says that
although it has made significant progress in doing so,
without controls in the form of measurable criteria that
decision makers must consider, DOD runs the risk of making
decisions based on overly optimistic assumptions.
GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense require
additional controls ensuring that decisions are properly
informed at every stage of the acquisitions process. DOD
partially agreed with GAO’s recommendation.