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News > During Hanscom visit, AF Acquisition Executive says communication is key
 
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Top-level discussion
David Van Buren, Air Force service acquisition executive, speaks with Lt. Gen. Ted Bowlds, Electronic Systems Center commander, during the Hanscom Representatives Association meeting June 28, 2011. Mr. Van Buren provided a presentation to the HRA members on effective Air Force acquisition. (U.S. Air Force photo/Rick Berry)
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During Hanscom visit, AF Acquisition Executive says communication is key

Posted 6/30/2011   Updated 6/30/2011 Email story   Print story

    


by Patty Welsh
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs


6/30/2011 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- David Van Buren, Air Force service acquisition executive, spoke on effective Air Force acquisition, including suggestions to achieve efficiencies and improve communication between government and industry, during the Hanscom Representatives Association luncheon meeting June 28.

He mentioned some initiatives that have been put in place to recapture acquisition excellence, such as building up the acquisition workforce and expanding the program executive office structure to improve oversight.

Mr. Van Buren specifically highlighted the Electronic Systems Center's Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) program as a success story, saying it allowed the warfighter to receive the needed capability in a short period of time.

However, more challenges lie ahead.

"The reality is we are going to have to deal with money constraints going forward," Mr. Van Buren said while discussing the upcoming fiscal years' budgets.

For the FY13 budget, we need to reduce the modernization budget by approximately five percent, he said.

"There's a lot of inefficient costs that need to be driven down and every program manager and every industry leader needs to look at elements and cost structure to find out what they can do about it."

One area he specifically focused on was the requirements generation process.

"We are going to have to pay a lot more attention to that," he said. "What can we afford to make?"

During his presentation, Mr. Van Buren presented his list of ideas to achieve efficiencies in a David Letterman Top l0-style format.

The top three include: reducing the bureaucratic elements of the acquisition process, providing award fees on top of incentive fee contracts for speed to warfighter or other attributes, and buying more production products at more efficient rates while reducing spending in other areas.

He emphasized that none of this can happen without constant communication between government and industry, saying the dialogue needs to be very strong.

"The bottom line is that we're held accountable by the taxpayer, by the nation and by the warfighter to be efficient stewards of the taypayers' dollars and we need to do that in the most efficient way."




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