Proceedings of the First Annual Acquisition Research Symposium. Charting a course for change, acquisition theory and practice for a transforming defense
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Many in the Department of Defense associate the phase "acquisition reform" with major policy and legislative initiatives of the past decade, for example, the shift away from reliance on military unique specifications and standards, the emphasis on teaming, the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act (FASA), and the Clinger-Cohen Act. While we should never discount the significance of these measures, the view that the 1990s were the genesis of acquisition reform diminishes perspective of the long history of reform efforts linked to names such as Goldwater, Nichols, Grace, Carlucci, Packard, and Hoover, to name but a few. Indeed, these efforts extend back in our history to the Continental Congress' attempts to reform the buying practices of General Washington's Army. Considering this history, "reform" may well be acquisition's defining theme. Of course, acquisition can never be truly and completely "reformed." As a process, acquisition continually evolves as military and political priorities shift, as economic and business conditions change, and as technology advances. Acquisition reform, then, must also be viewed as a process rather than as an end state. The slogan of 16th century Protestants, Reformata et Semper Reformandum ("Reformed and Always Reforming"), must apply in acquisition. How may such a perspective take hold in acquisition? Elected and appointed leaders can provide the political will to pursue reform, but reform cannot simply conform to shifting political landscapes. Acquisition professionals have the expertise to implement reform measures, but as "owners" of acquisition processes they often have difficulty challenging the status quo. We assert that a process of continual reform must include acquisition researchers. Only research can provide the type of critical and focused inquiry that informs acquisition's policies and practices and thus promotes its reform. It is in such a spirit of reform that the Acquisition Research Program at the Naval Postgraduate School seeks to engage research in the study of acquisition and its important issues. The potential benefits of acquisition research are myriad. It can contribute to the effective practice of acquisition in DoD through development of an expanded knowledge base about the field. It can contribute to sound, scientifically-based proposals and recommendations for acquisition decision makers. Perhaps most significantly, it can provide a solid theoretical grounding for future training and educational programs that will enable the workforce to think more creatively and critically about the key issues and challenges of acquisition. In pursuit of such possibilities, we are pleased to publish these Proceedings of the Naval Postgraduate School's inaugural Acquisition Research Symposium held on Thursday, May 13, 2004, in Monterey, CA. Titled "Charting a Course for Change: Acquisition Theory and Practice for a Transforming Defense," the symposium served successfully, in our view, as a forum for the exchange of ideas among a distinguished and diverse body of scholars and practitioners of public sector acquisition. The contents feature presentations on recently completed and on-going research projects conducted under the Acquisition Research Program, as well as an excellent keynote address by The Honorable Jacques S. Gansler, former Undersecretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology & Logistics).
NPS Report NumberNPS-AM-04-005
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Proceedings of the First Annual Acquisition Research Symposium: Charting a course for change: acquisition theory and practice for a transforming defense. Naval Postgraduate School (U.S.). Graduate School of Business and Public Policy; Graduate School of Business & Public Policy (GSBPP) (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2004); NPS-AM-04-005Many in the Department of Defense associate the phase acquisition reform with major policy and legislative initiatives of the past decade, for example, the shift away from reliance on military unique specifications and ...
Wednesday Proceedings (2011-04-30); NPS-AM-11-017During his internship with the Graduate School of Business & Public Policy in June 2010, U.S. Air Force Academy Cadet Chase Lane surveyed the activities of the Naval Postgraduate School''s Acquisition Research Program in ...
Thursday Proceedings (2011-04-30); NPS-AM-11-018During his internship with the Graduate School of Business & Public Policy in June 2010, U.S. Air Force Academy Cadet Chase Lane surveyed the activities of the Naval Postgraduate School''s Acquisition Research Program in ...