The Pentagon on April 9 rolled out the latest iteration of its Better Buying Power acquisition reform effort, emphasizing areas covered in the past while also introducing new areas of focus, including cybersecurity.
The 3.0 version of the initiative, first launched by now-Defense Secretary Ash Carter, is headlined with a theme of technological superiority. In a Pentagon press conference, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall outlined goals and reasoning that are driving the implementation of BBP 3.0
It includes some of the so-called core areas of the earlier versions of BBP, including affordability caps, should-cost targets, improved competition, contracting incentivization and professionalism in the acquisition workforce. New to 3.0 are goals aimed at cybersecurity and reducing acquisition bureaucracy.
The cyber emphasis has evolved out of a growing need to protect the Defense Department's data, even the non-classified type, which Kendall said has been stolen in recent years. He characterized cybersecurity as "a pervasive source of risk" for DoD.
"Part of the reason for that being in Better Buying Power 3.0 is to increase awareness of how this works, and part is to take specific steps," Kendall said. "I want program managers thinking about cybersecurity and conscious of cybersecurity all the time [and] I want stakeholders thinking about it and conscious all the time."
Kendall added that he also is working on a cybersecurity enclosure to be added to the DoD 5000.02 acquisition guidance. He said that memo is in the draft stage.
Another goal of incorporating cybersecurity into BBP 3.0 is to build it into weapons systems, Kendall noted.
"We need to think about every interface of weapons system, what every system touches or depends on from cyber perspective…we need to think of it as a higher priority than in the past," he said, noting that a failure to do so has resulted in DoD "reacting" as a result. "We're doing other things in the cybersecurity area, so I thought it was useful to put it in here, draw attention and reflect what's happening in the area – because it's important to technological superiority."
Innovation is another point of emphasis in the guidance, particularly considering that there are innovation tools at DoD that go under-utilized by the private sector, Kendall said.
"The Innovation Marketplace [established] under Better Buying Power 1.0 has been used by a fraction of industry so far," he said. "It's a good resource, it's been populated to an extent and we can get more there."
Overall, the guidance includes 34 areas of focus that each include general guidance and specific points of action.