DoD Price Director Assad: ‘We’re Trying to Become World-class Buyers’

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Director of DoD Pricing Shay Assad, Photo: Defense.gov

Defense Department policymakers have long been extolling the virtues of better buying.

In fact, acquisition chief Ashton Carter launched a program bearing that name last year, aiming to drive the costs of major weapons programs down.

Now, Shay Assad, who last week was named to the newly created position of director of defense pricing, will work to put better buying into practice.

In a press briefing last week, Assad, who previously served as director of defense procurement and acquisition policy, suggested the focus wouldn’t only be on better buying.

“What we’re trying to do is become world-class buyers,” he said, according to a Defense Systems report.

Doing so would include implementing DoD cost guidance reviews, known as will-cost vs. should-cost guidance — an evaluation tool that helps keep costs under control.

World-class buying also means improvements to the actual buyers themselves — DoD’s acquisition workforce. Assad said the Defense Contract Management Agency would be revamped with 300 pricing analysts having already been hired, Federal Times reports. In addition, DoD is standing up an online database offering “financial insight” into government contractors that contracting officers will be able to access and use in real-time.

“What we’re really trying to do is have contracting officers push away from the table and say: ‘I did very well by the taxpayers,’ ” Assad said, according to Federal Times.

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