Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Effective Acquisition Strategies for Systems Engineering and Technical Assistance (SETA)
Authors: Jacques S. Gansler
William Lucyshyn
John Rigilano
Keywords: Acquisition Strategies
Systems Engineering and Technical Assistance (SETA)
Acquisition Workforce
Inherently Governmental
Research and Development
Issue Date: 23-Jul-2012
Publisher: Acquisition Research Program
Citation: Published--Unlimited Distribution
Series/Report no.: Systems Engineering
Abstract: This report addresses the policy changes that are necessary if the Department of Defense (DoD) is to reconcile its growing need for systems engineering and technical assistance (SETA) with the realities of today's defense industry. The DoD relies heavily upon SETA contractors to facilitate the acquisition of complex systems. SETA contractors are civilian experts who provide analysis and engineering services to the government and often work hand in hand with government engineering staff. This arrangement provides numerous benefits to the DoD. For instance, SETA contractors are able to provide the flexibility and quick availability of expertise to DoD programs without the commitment or expense of sustaining a large, long-term government staff. It must be emphasized that decisions on many aspects of systems engineering concerning the organization of goods and services by the DoD (e.g., systems architecture optimization, cost performance options, tolerable technology risks, realism of schedule feasibility, etc.) are judgments that are inherently governmental and must be made by government officials with a background and understanding of systems engineering. However, the generation of the analyses and simulation, for example, that inform these judgments can be perhaps best done by private sector SETA contractors, provided that they are, in fact, independent and, thus, objective. However, as reliance on contractors has increased, so has vertical and horizontal consolidation within the defense industry, which has led to the significant reduction in the number of independent firms capable of providing the DoD with objective SETA services. Indeed, firms selected to design and construct military systems have, on occasion, also provided advisory services via one or multiple SETA contracts. This trend has led to the growing concern that firms may be considering their own, and possibly long-term, interests (or the interests of their affiliates) in designing a system, which disadvantages both the government and other firms. Organizational conflicts of interest (OCIs) of this sort present a serious impediment to the successful execution of DoD programs.
Description: Acquisition Management / Grant-funded Research
Appears in Collections:Sponsored Acquisition Research & Technical Reports

Files in This Item:
File SizeFormat 
UMD-AM-12-174.pdf1.48 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.