The Section 809 Panel's Roadmap to Success

Section 809 Panel

The Advisory Panel on Streamlining and Codifying Acquisition Regulations (Section 809 Panel) was created in Section 809 of the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (Public Law 114-92). The panel consisted of 16 members required to be recognized experts in acquisition and procurement policy with diverse experiences from the public and private sectors. The panel was charged to deliver recommendations that could transform the defense acquisition system to meet the threats and demands of the 21st century.

From August 2016 to its conclusion in July 2019, the panel released five publications: an interim report, a final report in three volumes, and a roadmap organizing all 98 recommendations within 4 founding principles. Together, these 98 recommendations chart a path for both evolutionary and revolutionary change in the defense acquisition system.

As of July 2019, 15 recommendations had been implemented by Congress or the Department of Defense. Another 12 recommendations were pending in the 2019 legislative cycle. For details, see the Implementation Tracker located in the tab “Promotion & Outreach Products.”

Note that each recommendation is accompanied by draft implementation language. This language can be found in the main volumes but is not included in the individual recommendation files.

Volume 1 - Report of the Advisory Panel on Streamlining and Codifying Acquisition Regulations

Volume 1 - Summary of Recommendations

Recommendation 1
Revise definitions related to commercial buying to simplify their application and eliminate inconsistency.

Recommendation 13
Increase coverage of the effectiveness of contractor
internal control audits by leveraging IPAs.

Recommendation 2
Minimize government-unique terms applicable to commercial buying.

Recommendation 14
Incentivize contractor compliance and manage risk efficiently through robust risk assessment.

Recommendation 3
Align and clarify FAR commercial termination language.

Recommendation 15
Clarify and streamline the definition of and requirements for an adequate incurred cost proposal to refocus the purpose of DoD’s oversight.

Recommendation 4
Revise DFARS sections related to rights in technical data policy for commercial products.

Recommendation 16
Combine authority for requirements, resources, and acquisition in a single, empowered entity to govern DBS portfolios separate from the existing acquisition chain of command.

Recommendation 5
Align DCAA’s mission statement to focus on its primary customer, the contracting officer.

Recommendation 17
Eliminate separate requirement
for annual IRB certification of DBS investments.

Recommendation 6
Revise the elements of DCAA’s annual report to Congress to incorporate multiple key metrics.

Recommendation 18
Fund DBSs in a way that allows for commonly accepted software development approaches.

Recommendation 7
Provide flexibility to contracting officers and auditors to use audit and advisory services when appropriate.

Recommendation 19
Eliminate the Earned Value Management mandate for software programs using Agile methods.

Recommendation 8
Establish statutory time limits for defense oversight activities.

Recommendation 20
Clarify the definitions of personal and nonpersonal services and incorporate in the DFARS a description of supervisory responsibilities for services contracts.

Recommendation 9
Permit DCAA to use IPAs to manage resources to meet time limits.

Recommendation 21
Refocus DoD's small business policies and programs to prioritize mission and advance warfighting capabilities and capacities.

Recommendation 10
Replace system criteria from
DFARS 252.242-7006, Accounting System Administration, with an internal control audit to assess the adequacy of contractors’ accounting systems.

Recommendation 22
Eliminate, or sunset within 5 years, the statutory requirement for certain acquisition-related offices and Secretary of Defense designated officials to increase flexibility and/or reduce redundancy.

Recommendation 11
Develop a Professional Practice Guide for DoD’s oversight of contractor costs and business systems.

Recommendation 23
Establish a permanent, automatic 5-year sunset provision for DoD congressional reporting requirements.

Recommendation 12
Require DCAA to obtain peer review from a qualified external organization.

Recommendation 24
Repeal, preserve, or maintain various DoD congressional reporting requirements.

Volume 2 - Report of the Advisory Panel on Streamlining and Codifying Acquisition Regulations

Volume 2 - Summary of Recommendations

Recommendation 25
Streamline and adapt hiring authorities to support the acquisition workforce.

Recommendation 30
Reshape CAS program requirements to function better in a changed acquisition environment.

Recommendation 26
Convert the Civilian Acquisition Workforce Personnel
Demonstration Project (AcqDemo) from an indefinite demonstration project to a permanent personnel system.

Recommendation 31
Eliminate the statutory and regulatory distinction between personal services contracts (PSC) and nonpersonal services (NPS) contracts.

Recommendation 27
Improve resourcing, allocation, and management of the Defense Acquisition Workforce Development Fund (DAWDF).

Recommendation 32
Exempt DoD from paying the Federal Retail Excise Tax.

Recommendation 28
Simplify the selection of sources for commercial products and services.

Recommendation 33
Repeal certain Title 10 sections and note sections, create a new Part V under Subtitle A of Title 10, and redesignate
sections in Subtitles B–D to make room for Part V to support a more logical organization and greater ease of use.

Recommendation 29
Revise 41 U.S.C. § 1501-1506 to designate the Cost Accounting Standards Board as an independent federal organization within the executive branch.

Recommendation 34
Repeal certain Title 10 sections and note sections,
create a new Part V under Subtitle A of Title 10, and
redesignate sections in Subtitles B–D
to make room for Part V to support a more logical
organization and greater ease of use.

Volume 3 Report (Part 1) - Report of the Advisory Panel on Streamlining and Codifying Acquisition Regulations

Volume 3 Report (Part 2) - Report of the Advisory Panel on Streamlining and Codifying Acquisition Regulations

Volume 3 - Summary of Recommendations

Recommendation 35
Replace commercial buying and the existing simplified acquisition procedures and thresholds with simplified readily available procedures for procuring readily available products and services and readily available products and services with customization.

Recommendation 65
Increase the acquisition thresholds of the Davis–Bacon Act, the Walsh–Healey Public Contracts Act, and the Services Contract Act to $2 million.

Recommendation 36
Transition from a program-centric execution model to a portfolio execution model.

Recommendation 66
Establish a purpose statement for bid protests in the procurement system to help guide adjudicative bodies in resolving protests consistent with said purpose and establish a standard by which the effectiveness of protests may be measured.

Recommendation 37
Implement a defensewide capability portfolio framework that provides an enterprise view of existing and planned capability, to ensure
delivery of integrated and innovative solutions to meet strategic objectives.

Recommendation 67
Reduce potential bid protest processing time by eliminating the opportunity to file a protest with the COFC after filing at the GAO and require the COFC to issue a decision within 100 days of ordering a procurement be delayed.

Recommendation 38
Implement best practices for portfolio management.

Recommendation 68
Limit the jurisdiction of GAO and COFC to only those protests of procurements with a value that exceeds, or are expected to exceed, $75,000.

Recommendation 39
Leverage a portfolio structure for requirements.

Recommendation 69
Provide as part of a debriefing, in all procurements where a debriefing is required, a redacted source selection decision document and the technical evaluation of the vendor receiving the debriefing.

Recommendation 40
Professionalize the requirements management workforce.

Recommendation 70
Authorize DoD to develop a replacement approach to the inventory of contracted services requirement under 10 U.S.C. § 2330a.

Recommendation 41
Establish a sustainment program baseline, implement key enablers of sustainment, elevate sustainment to equal standing with development and procurement, and improve the defense materiel enterprise focus on weapon system readiness.

Recommendation 71
Adopt a professional practice guide to support the contract audit practice of DoD and the independent public accountants DoD may use to meet its contract audit needs, and direct DoD to establish a working group to maintain and update the guide.

Recommendation 42
Reduce budgetary uncertainty, increase funding flexibility, and enhance the ability to effectively execute sustainment plans and address emergent sustainment requirements.

Recommendation 72
Replace 18 system criteria from DFARS 252.242-7006, Accounting System Administration, with an internal control audit to assess the adequacy of contractors’ accounting systems based on seven system criteria.

Recommendation 43
Revise acquisition regulations to enable more flexible and effective procurement of consumption-based solutions.

Recommendation 73
Revise the definition of business system deficiencies to more closely align with generally accepted auditing standards.

Recommendation 44
Exempt DoD from Clinger–Cohen Act Provisions in Title 40.

Recommendation 74
Eliminate redundant documentation requirements or superfluous approvals when appropriate consideration is given and documented as part of acquisition planning.

Recommendation 45
Create a pilot program for contracting directly with information technology consultants through an online talent marketplace.

Recommendation 75
Revise regulations, instructions, or directives to eliminate non-value-added documentation or approvals.

Recommendation 46
Empower the acquisition community by delegating below threshold reprogramming decision authority to portfolio acquisition executives.

Recommendation 76
Revise the fair opportunity procedures and require their use in task and delivery order competitions.

Recommendation 47
Restore reprogramming dollar thresholds to match their previous levels relative to inflation and the DoD budget.

Recommendation 77
Require role-based planning to prevent unnecessary application of security clearance and investigation requirements to contracts.

Recommendation 48
Increase to 50 percent the lesser of 20 percent restriction that creates artificially low reprogramming thresholds for smaller programs.

Recommendation 78
Include the supply of basic energy as an exemption under FAR 5.202.

Recommendation 49
Provide increased flexibility to the time periods within which contract obligations are permitted to occur.

Recommendation 79
Enable enhanced use of advanced payments, at time of contract award, to small businesses.

Recommendation 50
Enact regular appropriations bills on time.

Recommendation 80
Preserve the preference for procuring commercial products and services when considering small business set-asides.

Recommendation 51
Mitigate the negative effect of continuing resolutions by allowing congressional regular appropriations to remain available for a
standardized duration from date of enactment.

Recommendation 81
Clarify and expand the authority to use Other Transaction agreements for production.

Recommendation 52
Permit the initiation of all new starts, provided Congress has appropriated sufficient funding.

Recommendation 82
Provide Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals authority to require filing of contract appeals through an electronic case management system.

Recommendation 53
Permit the initiation of all production rate increases,
provided Congress has appropriated sufficient funding.

Recommendation 83
Raise the monetary threshold to provide agency boards of contract appeals accelerated, small business, and small claims (expedited) procedures to $250,000 and $150,000 respectively.

Recommendation 54
Permit the initiation of multiyear procurements under a CR

Recommendation 84
Direct DoD to communicate with the marketplace concerning acquisition from development of the need/requirement through contract closeout, final payment, and disposal.

Recommendation 55
Raise the Prompt Payment Act threshold.

Recommendation 85
Establish a Market Liaison at each acquisition activity to facilitate communication with industry.

Recommendation 56
Use authority in Section 1077 of the FY 2018 NDAA to establish a revolving fund for information technology modernization projects and explore the feasibility of using revolving funds for other money-saving investments.

Recommendation 86
Encourage greater interaction with industry during market research.

Recommendation 57
Modify fiscal law to extend the duration of when funds cancel from 5 years to 8 years in expired status to align program acquisitions with funding periods and prevent putting current funds at risk and to support meeting appropriation intent.

Recommendation 87
Establish a market intelligence capability throughout DoD to facilitate communication that enhances the government’s industry
knowledge through open, two-way communication.

Recommendation 58
Address the issue of over-age contracts through (a) establishing an end-to-end, integrated, streamlined process, (b) codifying DCMA’s Quick Close Out class deviation in the DFARS, and (c) extending DCMA’s Low Risk Quick Close Out initiative by 2 years.

Recommendation 88
Use existing defense business system open-data requirements to improve strategic decision making on acquisition and
workforce issues.

Recommendation 59
Revise the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act to focus more on building professional qualifications.

Recommendation 89
Direct DoD to consolidate or eliminate competing data architectures within the defense acquisition and financial system.

Recommendation 60
Implement acquisition career paths that are integrated
with an institutionalized competency model tailored to mission needs.

Recommendation 90
Reorganize Title 10 of the U.S. Code to place all of the acquisition provisions in a single part, and update and move acquisition-related note sections into the reorganized acquisition part of Title 10.

Recommendation 61
Create a comprehensive public–private exchange program for DoD’s acquisition workforce.

Recommendation 91
Require the Administrator of General Services and the Secretary of Defense to maintain the FAR and DFARS respectively, as electronic documents with references to the related statutes, Executive Orders,
regulations, and policies, and with hyperlinks to Federal Register Notices.

Recommendation 62
Update the FAR and DFARS to reduce burdens on DoD’s commercial supply chain to decrease cost, prevent delays, remove barriers, and encourage innovation available to the Military Services.

Recommendation 92
Minimize the flowdown of government-unique terms in commercial buying by implementing the Section 809 Panel’s Recommendation 2.

Recommendation 63
Create a policy of mitigating supply chain and performance risk through requirements documents.

Recommendation 93
Create a Center for Acquisition Innovation located at the National Defense University, Eisenhower School.
Recommendation 64
Update socioeconomic laws to encourage purchasing from nontraditional suppliers by (a) adopting exceptions for DoD to domestic purchasing preference requirements for commercial products, and (b) adopting a public interest exception and procedures for the Berry Amendment identical to the ones that exist for the Buy American Act.