The continual decline in our country’s defense budget has severely impacted both government and the defense industry as well. To cope, the government has increased its use of commercial procurement practices, a central tenet of federal acquisition reform. Numerous legislative reforms and internal agency policies have not only permitted but in certain cases mandated the use of specific commercial procurement practices. This thesis examines the impact of new commercial procurement practices from the perspective of the average defense acquisition manager. Using research information gathered from 23 current defense acquisition programs that claim to have successfully implemented commercial procurement practices, the thesis seeks to identify the types of commercial procurement practices in use, to document lessons learned from actual implementation, and to evaluate the five core thesis hypotheses. The five core hypotheses probe the direct impact of commercial procurement practices on acquisition costs, acquisition schedule, quality, life cycle support, and life cycle costs.
Keywords A Study of the Federal Government’s Experiences with Commercial Procurement Practices in Major Defense Acquisitions