The Defense Department technology acquisition process will soon be revamped with a focus on streamlining and developing standardized approach to technology purchases.
The first draft of the policy change will be issued this summer, said DoD deputy chief management officer Beth McGrath, who criticized the current acquisition process.
"We should not be applying the DoD 5000 process to commercial off-the-shelf technology,” she said, as reported by Federal News Radio. “There is no requirement for a live fire test, and there is no requirement to ensure the technology is mature. It doesn’t really fit when you are buying an enterprise resource planning system and trying to implement it."
McGrath said the new policies will analyze IT infrastructure in the department and identify where the opportunities are to streamline and develop a standard approach to infrastructure. Part of this includes consolidating data centers. She also said the DoD should reduce the time it takes to field technology capabilities.
"We are looking at testing and evaluation and certification and accreditation, today two separate processes done by separate organizations," she said. "Testing can take anywhere from six months to a year. Certification and accreditation everyone says takes a year. That is ridiculous. That is a year longer for you to field your capabilities than probably is necessary. We are combining those."
McGrath said that the DoD also wants to test its new technology in the environment it will run in, so there is a level of certification when configuring and building the technology. This in turn will help the DoD address ongoing challenges around defining requirements and the tendency to try only large projects, instead of taking a modular or agile approach.
The latest change is part of the Defense Department’s broader effort to revamp its technology strategy and reform the acquisitions process. Last month, DoD chief information officer Teri Takai said that smaller budgets are giving her an opportunity to redo the military’s IT strategy.