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Acquisition program data help drive effective and efficient policy formulation, decisionmaking, and program execution across the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). Despite recent statutory changes to organizational structures, as well as to roles, responsibilities, and authorities (RRAs) of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and military departments, OSD still needs key program data to inform policymaking and enable analysis critical for understanding acquisition processes and performance. For example, program data are still needed to conduct portfolio analyses and understand the performance of individual acquisition pathways and the overall acquisition system in order to improve acquisition policy design and outcomes.

The authors outline issues and opportunities in data requirements, governance, and management to strive for more efficient, effective, and informed acquisition while reducing burden and ad hoc data requests. They address general data governance and management challenges, as well as specific challenges associated with the Middle Tier of Acquisition (MTA) for rapid prototyping and rapid fielding, the Selected Acquisition Report (SAR), and the Defense Acquisition Executive Summary (DAES) process and data. A rich set of information currently supports the acquisition community. While there is no agreement on all data needs and definitions, the underlying data used for program management, oversight/insight, decisionmaking, and analysis are similar across DoD.

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