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DoD to Announce Nine Acquisition Programs for Software Appropriations Pilot; Ellen Lord Quoted

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Ellen Lord
Ellen Lord

The Department of Defense (DoD) is preparing nine procurement programs for a pilot program to test a concept that seeks to speed up software development and deployment using a new congressional appropriations category dedicated to software, Federal News Network reported Wednesday. The acquisition programs for the pilot will be a combination of information technology systems and software-intensive weapons platforms across service branches and defense agencies.

“It’s a very, very significant move, structurally, in how we get money,” Ellen Lord, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment and a 2020 Wash100 Award winner, said of the concept at the annual WEST 2020 event in San Diego.

“But I think we will begin to see results almost instantaneously, because the administrative burden of making sure you are charging the right development number, the right production number, the right sustainment number, slows things down. And we know with coding, we’re getting feedback constantly. We want people to literally be able to update systems on the fly.”

Lord said the Pentagon expects the pilots to show results that would enable the department to ask Congress to introduce changes to how it appropriates funds for software development and procurement efforts within “a year or two."