Defense Management:

Streamlining the Acquisition Process

T-NSIAD-89-46: Published: Aug 2, 1989. Publicly Released: Aug 2, 1989.

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GAO discussed the extent to which the Department of Defense (DOD) has implemented the President's Blue Ribbon Commission on Defense Management's recommendation to establish within each service a three-tier acquisition management chain to manage major acquisition programs. GAO noted that: (1) the streamlined process required acquisition program managers to report to program executive officers (PEO) who reported to a service acquisition executive (SAE); (2) the Commission also recommended that DOD establish an Under Secretary for Acquisition to oversee the entire acquisition system and establish overall policy; (3) DOD did not give the Under Secretary the necessary support and resources for supervising the acquisition system, resulting in fragmented policymaking; (4) the Navy and the Air Force basically superimposed the recommended reporting chain over their existing command chains and assigned the SAE and PEO titles to existing positions with little or no change in responsibility or authority; (5) the Army created a new acquisition chain that was separate from the existing command chain, but was dependent upon resources of the existing chain for program management and execution; and (6) a DOD review of the services' implementation of the recommendations called for more fundamental changes than the services had established.

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