What the 809 Panel Didn’t Quite Get Right

March, 2019
IDA document: P-10579
FFRDC: Systems and Analyses Center
Type: Documents
Division: Strategy, Forces and Resources Division
Peter K. Levine and Bill Greenwalt See more authors
The so-called “Section 809 Panel” on streamlining and codifying acquisition regulations recently concluded its work with a report that offers an important new idea on how the defense acquisition system could be improved to provide the Pentagon improved access to innovative new technologies that are rapidly developed in the private sector. The Panel fumbled its recommendations with a contradictory and incoherent legislative approach that would hurt more than it helps, but that fumble should not undermine the significance of the Panel’s underlying idea: A new focus on the source of funding for commercial items, rather than the marketplace in which they are sold, could encourage companies to develop defense-unique products at their own expense, rather than driving them away by forcing them to accept regulated pricing and burdensome government-unique contract terms and conditions.