Defense Acquisition Organizations:

Linking Workforce Reductions with Better Program Outcomes

T-NSIAD-97-140: Published: Apr 8, 1997. Publicly Released: Apr 8, 1997.

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GAO discussed issues associated with the acquisition workforce and acquisition process of the Department of Defense (DOD), focusing on: (1) the reasons why reducing infrastructure will be a complex and challenging undertaking; and (2) DOD's plan to reduce and restructure its acquisition workforce.

GAO noted that: (1) there is no agreed-upon definition of what constitutes the acquisition workforce; (2) this makes targeting changes and measuring their progress very difficult; (3) the workforce cuts made to date have not resulted in expected savings and have kept the basic organizational structure relatively intact; (4) decisions to restructure or reduce the acquisition workforce should be linked to getting better outcomes from the acquisition process; and (5) cutting personnel levels without changing how acquisition organizations generate weapon system requirements and estimates will miss an opportunity to address the deep-seated causes of acquisition problems. GAO also offered some preliminary observations on DOD's plan to reduce and restructure its acquisition workforce submitted in January in response to legislation.

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