2016 Acquisition Reform Initiative

Under the leadership of Chairman Mac Thornberry, the House Armed Services Committee has been working on another round of acquisition reforms that will be included in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). To that end, Congressman Thornberry released a stand-alone bill, the "Acquisition Agility Act," on March 15th as a draft bill to gather input from the interested public to inform the final acquisition provisions in the FY 2017 NDAA. As evidenced by the name of the bill, this round of acquisition reform is focused on helping the Department of Defense maintain its technological superiority by providing greater 'agility' for major programs. The bill focuses primarily on encouraging the modular open systems approach and achieving innovation from outside the program of record structure and leveraging prototyping and experimentation.

Jon Etherton, NDIA Senior Fellow for Acquisition Policy, led a continuation of NDIA's initiative over the last two years to help the Department of Defense and Congressional leadership with their acquisition reform efforts. Accordingly, NDIA submitted a letter and preliminary legislative proposals on the "Acquisition Agility Act" to Chairman Thornberry and Ranking Member Smith for their consideration as they proceeded to mark-up the FY 2017 NDAA.