Buyers of Pentagon hardware are comfortable managing acquisitions of traditional weapon systems such as airplanes, tanks and ships. But they have yet to master the procurement of high-tech networks and information systems, a senior official said.
The problem is that technology changes faster than the acquisition cycle, so the Defense Department often ends up buying systems that are obsolete by the time they reach troops in the field. One way to overcome this is to make sure all program managers are knowledgeable in the latest IT technology, said Tim Harp, acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for IT acquisition. He told industry and government attendees at a Precision Strike Association conference that he intends to create a “world-class environment” for the procurement of IT. It’s important to “apply the correct acquisition model,” he said.