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Today, the Department of Defense possesses a competent "smart buyer" (SB) capability. But unless corrective measures are soon taken, the effect of downsizing the federal government workforce may undermine future SB capability. Three measures will prevent this from happening: The Department of Defense must establish and maintain collaborative research environments; it must try to ensure that work environments encourage direct and open communications among the players; and it must maintain a talented technical staff of scientists and engineers by exploiting the full range of recruiting tools and implementing career development opportunities.

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Originally published in: Acquisition Review Quarterly, v. 7, no. 3, Summer 2000, pp. 259-274.

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