The Department of Defense (DOD) has been urged by commissions, legislation, and a panel to make increased use of commercial acquisition to achieve certain benefits. To help ensure the increased use of commercial acquisition, the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) established and the Air Force implemented two commercial acquisition goals to be achieved by the end of fiscal year 2005. In setting these goals, OSD expected that the increased use of commercial acquisition would provide DOD with greater access to commercial markets (products and service types) with increased competition, better prices, and new market entrants and/or technologies. The committee asked GAO to identify (1) the extent to which the Air Force has increased its use of commercial acquisition to obtain expected benefits and (2) the risks that are associated with this use.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of the Air Force||To help ensure that it is able to measure the benefits expected from commercial acquisition, the Air Force should collect information that would allow evaluating the extent of cost savings, increased access to commercial markets, and greater access to nontraditional contractors. For example, the Air Force could measure the number of nontraditional contractors it reaches using commercial acquisition.|
|Department of the Air Force||To help improve commercial acquisition and reduce the potential for risk by limiting situations where commercial acquisition contracts are being awarded sole-source, the Secretary of the Air Force should strive to limit the acquisition of commercial products and services in sole-source environments in concert with OSD guidance. However, in the cases where it is necessary to award sole-source, the Secretary should collect the information necessary to evaluate the benefit(s) of awarding commercial verses a noncommercial contract.|