The Department of Defense (DoD) has changed its acquisition policies in a way that marks,  according to a DoD release, “one of the most transformational changes to acquisition policy in decades.”

Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist signed into effect DoD Directive 5000.01, the Defense Acquisition System, on Sept. 9. The new 16-page directive outlines the new policies for acquisition in the department, and represents a rules rewrite process many months in the making.

The directive states the Defense Acquisition System will:

  • “Empower program managers (PMs)”;
  • “Simplify acquisition policy”;
  • “Employ tailored acquisition approaches”;
  • “Conduct data driven analysis”;
  • “Actively manage risk”; and
  • “Emphasize product support and sustainment.”

The new policies were crafted to “deliver performance at the speed of relevance,” according to the document. Katie Arrington, DoD’s CISO for Acquisition and Sustainment, emphasized the need to accelerate the acquisition process earlier this year.

“You can’t buy software like you buy hardware,” said Arrington, adding that 90-day acquisition periods are too slow for software acquisition. “You have to do it at the speed of relevance.”

The directive and its six tenets of acquisition are being implemented using the Adaptive Acquisition Framework, according to the release. The framework includes specific directions for several other types of acquisition in addition to software acquisition.

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Dwight Weingarten
Dwight Weingarten
Dwight Weingarten is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.