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Will Roper: Air Force Should ‘Hack’ Federal Acquisition System

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Dr. Will Roper
Dr. Will Roper Board of Directors Volansi

Will Roper, assistant secretary for acquisition, technology and logistics at the U.S. Air Force and a three-time Wash100 Award winner, said he believes the service must hack the federal procurement system to be relevant and one way to do that is by reassessing current acquisition regulations, Federal News Network reported Tuesday. 

Roper said he is working with financial management offices and the general counsel on a new memo to add more flexibility to one-year funding for operations and maintenance of systems, also known as 3400 money.

“I don’t think the original envision of different colors of money was not to allow us to do common sense things. It’s to operate and sustain. I think the implication is operate and sustain relevant things. If you are creating a completely new bomber instead of sustaining your old one, you’ve crossed the line and you know that,” Roper said at the National Contract Management Association event.

“If you are making reasonable improvements to your system to keep it relevant for the original purpose to which it was built, that is what that account is for and we have given that up. It’s a great example of the kind of conservatism that has now overwrought our system into being intransigent and inflexible,” he added.