- Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act (FASA) (1994). Major legislation concerned
with procurement reform, which implemented many of the recommendations of
the Section 800 Panel Report. FASA repealed or substantially modified over
225 provisions of law primarily dealing with contracting and procurement
matters. Notable features of this legislation include emphasis on the use of
commercial versus military specifications, encouragement of electronic
commerce, and requirements to use past performance when evaluating
- The Federal Acquisition Reform Act (FARA) (1996). A follow-up to FASA, FARA
(Division D of the FY 1996 National Defense Authorization Act) covers some
of the Section 800 Panel acquisition reform recommendations that were not
covered in FASA. Some of the more interesting issues covered include
exceptions for commercial item acquisitions, to the Truth in Negotiations
Act, and Cost Accounting Standards.
- Information Technology Management Reform Act (ITMRA) (1996). ITMRA was
enacted as Division E of the FY 1996 National Defense Authorization Act.
This act requires greater accountability for system improvements achieved
through information technology (IT). Among other things, the act streamlines
both protest and acquisition procedures for IT systems by identifying the
General Accounting Office as the single agency for protests; and by
repealing the Brooks Act, which since the 1960's imposed cumbersome
regulations on purchasing computers (originally targeted at mainframes). It
also addresses the issue of rapidly changing technology by requiring modular
contracting, with increments delivered within 18 months of contract award.
Note: FARA and ITMRA are know together as the "Clinger-Cohen Act" in honor
of their congressional sponsors.
Process Action Teams. In the mid-1990's, the Secretary of Defense established several teams of "practitioners" from the military ser-vices and Defense agencies to determine how best to achieve policy changes in electronic commerce/electronic data interchange, military specifications and standards, procurement, contract administration services, oversight and review, and automated acquisition information. Each of these teams published reports that resulted in significant impact on the management of Defense acquisition programs.
Regulatory Reform. Provisions of the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act, the
Clinger-Cohen Act, and recommendations of the various process action teams
were implemented in changes to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (and its
Defense Supplement), and DoD directives, instructions and regulations for
systems acquisition. (The Federal Acquisition Regulation was mentioned in Chapter 1; regulatory provisions will be
covered in Chapter
Offices were established throughout DoD to support
acquisition reform efforts, including the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense
for Acquisition Reform in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In addition,
designated pilot programs were given statutory and regulatory relief to "test
drive" new ideas and processes.