The authority for DoD to conduct Defense acquisition, i.e., to develop, produce, and field weapons systems, flows from two principal sources: the law (legal basis) and executive direction. Executive direction flows from the authority of the President and the federal government's executive agencies to issue orders and regulations to both enforce and facilitate the law and to help carry out the constitutional duties of the executive branch.
Statutory authority from Congress provides the legal
basis for systems acquisition. Some of the most prominent laws are:
- Small Business Act (1963), as amended
- Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act (1983), as amended
- Competition in Contracting Act (1984)
- Department of Defense Procurement Reform Act (1985)
- Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986
- Government Performance and Results Act (1993)
- Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994
- Annual authorization and appropriations legislation, which in recent
years have contained substantial new or amended statutory requirements, like
the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996.
Most provisions of the above have been codified in
Title 10, United States Code, Armed Forces.
Authority and guidance also comes from the Executive
Branch in the form of executive orders and national security decision
directives issued by the President, and other agency regulations. Examples
- Executive Order 12352 (1982). Directed procurement reforms and establishment of
the Federal Acquisition Regulation.
- Federal Acquisition Regulation (1984). Provided uniform policies and procedures for
the procurement of all goods and services by executive agencies of the
Federal government. Additional guidance for Defense acquisition programs is
provided in the DoD Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement.
- National Security Decision Directive 219 (1986). Directed implementation of
recommendations of the President's Blue Ribbon Commission on Defense
- Executive Order 13011 (1996). Implemented the provisions of the Information
Technology Management Reform Act.
- Office of Management and Budget Circular A-11 (1997).
process for preparation and submission of budget estimates, strategic plans
and annual performance plans, and the planning, budgeting and acquisition of
capital assets for all executive departments. Defense weapon systems are