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Congress worries authorities it gave DoD might backfire

23 May 2019, 22:38 UTC
Congress worries authorities it gave DoD might backfire
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This article was first published in the SN Military.Space newsletter. If you would like to get our news and insights for national security space professionals every Tuesday, sign up here for your free subscription.

U.S. Air Force leaders claim that they have saved billions of dollars and taken years out of program schedules — including major satellite procurements — thanks to authorities Congress gave the Defense Department to speed things up. Known as “804 authorities,” they were passed by Congress in Section 804 of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act to allow “rapid prototyping and rapid fielding” of new systems using mature technologies that only require minimal development. The idea was to encourage DoD to grab existing technology and build prototypes that can be produced and fielded within two to five years. This was a “crystal clear message” from Congress that it wants DoD acquisitions to move faster, the Air Force’s top procurement official Will Roper told the Air Force Association.

CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR As is often the case with procurement reforms Congress imposes on DoD, the devil is in the implementation. And lawmakers now worry that DoD may be overusing Section 804 in programs where skipping ...

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