Cost estimating in the Department of Defense and areas for improvement
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The purpose of this Joint Applied Project was to investigate and provide a comprehensive overview of the current process of cost estimation, preparation of Independent Government Cost Estimates, and Technical Evaluation writing practices within the Army Materiel Command, U.S. Army, JMandL Acquisition Center, ARDEC and CECOM. The goal of this project was to identify and document not only the specific types of cost-estimation practices and reports, but also to show the relationships between the IGCE, the Cost Estimation Process, the Request for Proposal (RFP), and the Technical Evaluation. Our purpose was to highlight and prove that the cost-estimation process is the heart of the acquisition process, and that it merges and coordinates the other processes so that the government can obtain the "Best Value" on both its competitive source selections and noncompetitive acquisitions. The reader will come away with a new appreciation for the concept of "Cost as an Independent Variable" after reading this thesis. Treating cost as an independent variable helps to ensure that acquisitions do not go over budget or get wildly out of control. It also contributes to clear thinking and lessens the likelihood of groupthink or "going along with the crowd," regardless of the consequences. Good cost analysis leads to good cost avoidance or containment, and is a prudent mindset for program officials who are regulated by budgetary constraints and accountable to Congress, and ultimately to the people, for the money they spend. They have good reason to spend it wisely and effectively.
Joint Applied Project
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