The Senate Armed Services Committee says that its annual DoD authorization bill—full details of which have not yet been released—“continues to implement changes to the Department of Defense’s management policies and assess the effectiveness of these updated business practices” through “strengthening oversight and streamlining the Pentagon’s bureaucracy.”
A summary says the bill “modernizes contracting, risk assessment, and mitigation processes to strengthen the integrity of the defense industrial base.” Included are processes to gain insight to foreign ownership, control of and influence over defense contractors, a pilot program on intellectual property evaluation for acquisition programs, a pilot program to use alpha contracting teams for complex requirements for services, and a review of service contract management and oversight.
It says the bill further: “accelerates, strengthens, or streamlines several processes related to the approval and award of contracts, including pricing evaluations, contract writing systems, and task and delivery orders”; “adopts and oversees modern software development and IT acquisition practices to improve lethality and efficiency”; “establishes special pathways for rapid acquisition of software applications and upgrades”; “reduces funds for systems not effectively implementing agile acquisition methods”; and “directs development and implementation of a policy for transitioning data and applications in support of the department’s cloud strategy.”
It also authorizes $9 million above the administration’s request for Marine Corps pilot programs to use commercial software to establish digital infrastructure for additive manufacturing and adds funding for the Defense Digital Service to support modernization of IT systems.
The measure could be brought to the Senate floor in the upcoming weeks, when full details will be available.