The House version of the National Defense Authorization Act (HR 2500) includes a provision to establish new acquisition pathways for software applications and software upgrades, as well as develop a program for acquisition training and management. The provision in the defense bill for FY2020 would require the Secretary of Defense to establish guidance for rapid software acquisition of contracts equal to or less than $50 million by March 1, 2020.

The guidance by the secretary should provide:

  • “the use of proven technologies and solutions to continuously engineer, update, and deliver capabilities in software; and
  • A streamlined and coordinated requirements, budget, and acquisition process that results in the rapid fielding of software applications and software upgrades.”

The upgrades acquisition pathway is to be used for rapid development of software upgrades for weapon systems.

Along with the acquisition pathways, the National Defense Authorization Act includes an additional provision that requires the establishment of software developments and acquisition training and management programs. The program will be for all software acquisition professionals, software developers, and others deemed appropriate to earn a certification in software development and acquisition.

The program will need to develop and expand training programs for CIO’s of the military departments and other defense agencies, service acquisition executives, program executive officers, and program managers. The Secretary of Defense will provide an initial report to congressional defense committees 90 days after the National Defense Authorization Act is enacted and a full report no later than one year after enactment.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.