The Section 809 Panel was established by Congress in the FY 2016 NDAA to address issues with the way DoD buys what it needs to equip its warfighters. Since its inception, the panel has published an Interim Report and three-volume Final Report, containing a total of 98 recommendations aimed at changing the overall structure and operations of defense acquisition both strategically and tactically. Some changes hold potential for immediate effect, such as those that remove unnecessary layers of approval in the many steps contracting officers and program managers must take and remove unnecessary and redundant reporting requirements. Other changes require a large shift in how the system operates, such as buying readily available products and services in a manner similar to the private sector and managing capabilities from a portfolio, rather than program, perspective. Such an array of proposed improvements offers short-term gains that will help inspire enthusiasm, as well as a commitment to achieving the long-term systemic changes and supporting continuous improvement.
What are the goals of Section 809 Panel?
The goals of the Section 809 Panel, as outlined in the National Defense Authorization Act, include the following:
- Review the acquisition regulations applicable to DoD with a view toward streamlining and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the defense acquisition process and maintaining defense technology advantage.
- Establish and administer appropriate buyer and seller relationships in the procurement system.
- Improve the functioning of the acquisition system.
- Ensure the continuing financial and ethical integrity of defense procurement programs.
- Protect the best interests of DoD.
- Eliminate any regulations that are unnecessary for the purposes described.
The Section 809 Panel, tasked with identifying ways to streamline and improve the defense acquisition system, has made a total 98 recommendations, encompassing both evolutionary and revolutionary change.