Annual Weapons Acquisition Assessment - GAO Needs to Step Up Its Game

June, 2019
IDA document: P-10692
FFRDC: Systems and Analyses Center
Type: Documents
Division: Strategy, Forces and Resources Division
Peter K. Levine See more authors
For the better part of two decades, the annual Government Accountability Office (GAO) assessment of major defense acquisition programs (MDAPs) has been a gold-standard for measuring the successes and failures of the acquisition system. Unfortunately, this year's report suffers from serious analytic problems - including a headline finding that DOD suffered from acquisition portfolio "cost growth" and "deteriorating performance" when in fact the report shows that costs went down, not up, and the Department spent more only because it chose to increase purchase volume. These issues must be addressed to ensure the continuing value of the series.