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Smarter spending for Air Force acquisitions

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Finding efficiencies within the acquisition process was the top talking point for Maj. Gen. Wendy Masiello, deputy assistant secretary for contracting, when she spoke with members of the Air Force Association and the media during the AFA’s monthly breakfast April 16, 2014, in Arlington, Va.

“Our industry partners have been hearing that we are struggling budget-wise,” Masiello said. “The dollars are going down, and we need to work together to reduce the cost of the programs in the future so we can continue to afford the programs we already have in place.”

She said there have been great examples recently in better buying power practices, especially in the reduction of overhead costs and “cleaning up” the proposal processes.

“If there is one thing that can help us shrink our acquisition timeline, it’s to get those proposals right in the beginning,” she explained.

Masiello noted challenges and opportunities to find savings still exist within the acquisition arena, particularly the supply chain management portion.

“There may be additional opportunities to find improvements in costs, and make sure that (the prime contractors) are truly getting the quality of work at the price we should be paying for that work from some of their suppliers,” she said.

Masiello briefed the audience on the top five priorities of the assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition as a way ahead for more responsible and efficient spending, to include: staying focused on the high priority programs and keeping them on track; improving relationships and transparency with partners and stakeholders to include Congress and industry; owning the technical baseline for important programs; focusing on the better buying practices that will have the biggest payoff; and focusing on what technology means in building the Air Force for 2023 and beyond

Masiello said these are the key things Air Force acquisition experts are targeting to save dollars and continue efficient operations under more constrained budgets.

“It’s our job to be responsible (to the tax payers) in managing those taxes and where we spend our money in the long run,” Masiello said.
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