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James Geurts: DOD Officials Ramp Up Efforts to Improve Procurement Process

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James Geurts, who currently performs the duties of the undersecretary of the Navy and a 2020 Wash100 Award winner, said Department of Defense (DOD) officials are increasing efforts to reform the acquisition process, National Defense reported Wednesday.

Ellen Lord, former undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment and a four-time Wash100 Award recipient, led initiatives to introduce changes to the procurement system by accelerating the delivery of technologies to soldiers and increasing competition.

“I would certainly applaud Secretary Lord and her team's effort and everybody over the last couple of years to get at the problem,” Geurts said Wednesday at the McAleese and Associates annual conference. “This [current] administration is doubling down on it. They understand the imperative. They understand how important it is for us to get there.” 

He said such reform efforts could help officials achieve the speed and scale in the acquisition process that could “empower the workforce.”

“If we're going to compete globally, scale and speed matter — we can't just have niche demonstrations,” Geurts said. “We've got to figure out how to do that at scale, and that's where opportunism comes in mind and to be opportunistic you've got to be forward-leaning. You've got to be forward-thinking. You have to have great relationships and you have to have trust."

Potomac Officers Club hosted its 2021 Navy Forum featuring James Geurts as the opening keynote speaker on Wednesday to discuss the Navy’s most pressing issues related to digital transformation and technology acquisition processes. The forum also provided a full panel discussion featuring Bradley Goodrich, Jane Rathbun and Capt. Matt Farr of the U.S. Navy and George Batsakis of 1901 Group

If you missed the 2021 Navy Forum, you can still access the OnDemand footage by visiting Potomac Officers Club’s Event Archive.

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