Kendall voluntarily loosens grip on some acquisition powers

In what some are calling a surprise move, Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall is relinquishing some of his power over major acquisition decisions to the military service secretaries.

A Sept. 11 memo states the military service secretaries will now have approval authority for certain programs to enter into the next phase of the acquisition process. The secretaries will also be accountable for cost, schedule and performance reporting for the programs.

Members of Congress, especially Senate Armed Service Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.), want DoD to give up some of its power over acquisition decisions as a means to curb cost overruns.

McCain added a provision in the 2016 defense authorization act that directed DOD to give some of his powers to the services secretaries and also to give greater acquisition authority to the military service chiefs.

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