Defense Acquisitions: Better Weapon Program Outcomes Require Discipline, Accountability, and Fundamental Changes in the Acquisition Environment

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Since 1990, GAO has designated the Department of Defense's (DOD) management of major weapon system acquisitions a high risk area. DOD has taken some action to improve acquisition outcomes, but its weapon programs continue to take longer, cost more, and deliver fewer capabilities than originally planned. These persistent problems--coupled with current operational demands--have impelled DOD to work outside of its traditional acquisition process to acquire equipment that meet urgent warfighter needs. Poor outcomes in DOD's weapon system programs reverberate across the entire federal government. Over the next 5 ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. June 3, 2008.

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Since 1990, GAO has designated the Department of Defense's (DOD) management of major weapon system acquisitions a high risk area. DOD has taken some action to improve acquisition outcomes, but its weapon programs continue to take longer, cost more, and deliver fewer capabilities than originally planned. These persistent problems--coupled with current operational demands--have impelled DOD to work outside of its traditional acquisition process to acquire equipment that meet urgent warfighter needs. Poor outcomes in DOD's weapon system programs reverberate across the entire federal government. Over the next 5 years, DOD plans to invest about $900 billion to develop and procure weapon systems--the highest level of investment in two decades. Every dollar wasted on acquiring weapon systems is less money available for other priorities. This testimony describes DOD's current weapon system investment portfolio, the problems that contribute to cost and schedule increases, and the potential impacts of recent legislative initiatives and DOD actions aimed at improving outcomes. It also provides some observations about what is needed for DOD to achieve lasting reform. The testimony is drawn from GAO's body of work on DOD's acquisition, requirements, and funding processes, as well as its most recent annual assessment of selected DOD weapon programs."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • June 3, 2008

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Defense Acquisitions: Better Weapon Program Outcomes Require Discipline, Accountability, and Fundamental Changes in the Acquisition Environment, text, June 3, 2008; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc292067/: accessed April 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.