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DoD Committed to Culture of Industry Competition

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U.S. Air Force
Friday, May 31, 2019

The Defense Department’s top acquisition officer says the military needs competition, innovation and creativity to meet national security needs.

“Competition is our friend,” said Ellen Lord, deputy undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment. “I'm very, very supportive of competition, and we try to drive that in many different ways. We particularly are interested in small and medium-size businesses; an enormous amount of our innovation comes from small businesses.”

A recent Government Accountability Office report notes that about half of DoD’s 183 major contracts went to just five corporations.

Lord, who has been leading a defensewide effort to reform the acquisition process, said she is “committed to creating a culture of creative compliance, scaling innovation from pockets of excellence, and mainstreaming authorities provided by Congress.”

Industry is involved in the process, she said. “The department cannot achieve the full breadth of these reform and modernization priorities alone. We must continue to partner with the private sector and Congress,” she said, describing monthly one-on-one meetings she’s been holding with industry executives. “We talk about challenges and opportunities, and how we can best work together.”