Review Tweak

By John Liang / February 28, 2011 at 4:24 PM

The Pentagon has tweaked the way it does critical design reviews for weapon system acquisition programs. According to a Feb. 24 memo from Frank Kendall, the principal deputy under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics:

Consistent with the Department of Defense's (DoD) intent to obtain greater efficiency and productivity in defense acquisition, I am eliminating the Program Manager's (PM) reporting responsibility for the Post-Critical Design Review (CDR) Report currently required by DoD Instruction 5000.02, Enclosure 2, para 6.c.(6)(c)(l). The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Systems Engineering) (DASD(SE)) will participate in program CDRs and prepare a brief assessment of the program's design maturity and technical risks which may require Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) attention. Consequently, PMs of Major Defense Acquisition Programs shall be required to invite DASD(SE) engineers to their system-level CDRs and make available CDR artifacts. The draft CDR assessments will be coordinated with the PM prior to forwarding to the MDA. PMs shall continue to document CDRs in accordance with component best practices.

This procedural change is effective immediately and constitutes expected business practice. It will be documented in the Defense Acquisition Guidebook and institutionalized in the next update to DoDI 5000.02. I encourage Component MDAs to consider similar assignment of CDR reporting responsibilities for acquisition programs under their cognizance.