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Report to Congress on Defense Acquisition Reform

The following is the Jan. 4, 2018 Congressional Research Service report, Acquisition Reform in the FY2016-FY2018 National Defense Authorization Acts.

From the Report

Congress has long been interested in defense acquisition and generally exercises its legislative
powers to affect defense acquisitions through Title VIII of the National Defense Authorization
Act (NDAA), entitled Acquisition Policy, Acquisition Management, and Related Matters.

Congress has been particularly active in legislating acquisition reform over the last three years.
For FY2016-FY2018, NDAA titles specifically related to acquisition contained an average of 82
provisions (247 in total), compared to an average of 47 such provisions (466 in total) in the
NDAAs for the preceding 10 fiscal years.

This report provides a brief overview of selected acquisition-related provisions found in the
NDAAs for FY2016 (P.L. 114-92), FY2017 (P.L. 114-328), and FY2018 (P.L. 115-91), including
the following topics that were a focus of the legislation:

  • Major Defense Acquisition Programs,
  • the acquisition workforce,
  • commercial items,
  • Other Transaction Authority, and
  • contract types.

This report also discusses one of the more controversial and extensive legislative changes made in recent years affecting acquisition: the breakup of the office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, as well as the shift of authority from that office to the military departments.


via fas.org