Three years ago, an independent commission led by Dr. Jacques Gansler, the former Under Secretary of Defense of Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, pointed to systemic problems in the Army’s contracting system. According to a 2007 release from the Army, the report found that there were “not enough people, too little training, and an antiquated system.”
The report by the Commission on Army Acquisition and Program Management in Expeditionary Operations became better known as the Gansler report.
Gansler, currently a professor at the University of Maryland, joined Francis Rose in the Pentagon Solutions series to discuss the parallels between his report’s recommendations and the actions the Defense Department is taking now to address the department’s large and growing use of contractors.
Gansler said Congress is “beginning to see the light” when it comes to the need to build up the contracting-related workforce, recognizing that DoD’s reliance on contractors will not go away. Contractors offer skills and expertise not always available within government. For example, it makes sense to have contractors maintain the equipment they built since they best understand that equipment, Gansler said. Also, innovation — particularly in IT — will come from industry, he said.
“We want to take full advantage of that,” Gansler said.