Past efforts to reform the systems acquisition process in the Department of Defense (DoD) have failed to view acquisition as part of a complex government planning and management system. This paper considers whether the acquisition process can be reformed without changes in other elements of DoD management systems. It maps out the major components of the DoD management system and outlines their relationship to each other and to the acquisition subsystem. The paper then identifies sets of issues related to each component. The author suggests that future acquisition reform efforts should emphasize other components of the system, rather than the acquisition process itself.
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