Phillips: Army must streamline requirements process

Army leaders recognize the need to streamline the requirements process to get draft request for proposals into the hands of defense execs faster.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Army acquisition officials want to speed up the process to issue requests for proposals to defense companies and thus issue contract awards quicker.

Army Lt. Gen. William Phillips, military deputy to the Army’s acquisition executive, said here on Wednesday at the Association of the U.S. Army’s Winter Symposium that the Army too often drags its feet trying to perfect the draft RFP rather than issue it to companies and receive feedback faster.

“I think in the past, looking over the last three years that I’ve been in this job, we’ve been somewhat hesitant to get the draft RFP out,” Phillips said. “We want to get it better and get it better.”

Instead, the Army needs to “take some risk in that area,” Phillips said. He explained that the Army will have to finish their requirement lists for weapons programs faster to drive down costs.

The Army’s top acquisition officer pointed to the JLTV as a program in which the Army was able to utilize the feedback from companies about what was affordable and what requirements didn’t make sense.

“We did something that was incredibly unique that allowed us to get clearer insights into what industry can do for the Army,” Phillips said.

The sooner the Army can receive the feedback from the draft RFP, the more likely it is that the service acquisition teams can adapt the programs to industry realities.

“We probably will in the future in terms of getting the requirements out and the drafts out earlier to industry so they can review and comment on it and we can get real comments back and real input to industry so we can execute the process a little bit better, define it quicker and get it to the award much sooner,” Phillips said.