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Corrosion Prevention and Control is a Community Effortstring;#/News/Corrosion-Prevention-and-Control-is-a-Community-EffortCorrosion Prevention and Control is a Community Effort2020-08-05T16:00:00Z New COP Banner.png, New COP Banner.png New COP Banner.png<div class="ExternalClass05C0E3FA0BFF420D9A3E4106653C2050">Every Service member can tell you that protecting weapons and equipment is part of the job – and their armories are full of weapons made of metal that is at risk to some form of corrosive damage. The tiniest piece of metal can cause catastrophic destruction if not properly maintained: a corroded electrical plug, a bolt that slips due to rust erosion, an oxidized connector that starts to flake. Any of these minor faults can prevent a weapon from firing, a tank from rolling or a jet from flying – even while in midair.<br> <br> The effects of corrosion are clear and costly. A <a href="">NACE International</a> study reports that annual impact to the Defense industry is more than $20B and it remains an ongoing problem. In response to this, the Government established the Office of Corrosion Policy and Oversight (OCPO) within Acquisition and Sustainment.<br> <br> The link between corrosion and sustainment is well documented. DAU started formally educating the acquisition workforce on cost, prevention and safety measures associated with corrosion in 2007 with, nearly 10,000 graduates attending the two online training courses focused on the topic. Additionally, engineering students are routinely educated on the subject matter as part of their curriculum, highlighting that corrosion prevention and control is not limited to any career field.<br> <br> “It’s a holistic, multi-disciplinary effort that touches systems engineering, program management and life-cycle logistics [with] true integration and alignment across the system life cycle,” DAU Professor Bill Kobren, Director of the PCO Logistics & Sustainment Center, said. “In reality, corrosion prevention and control are two sides of the same vitally important integrated product-support coin – encompassing system design, development and supportability planning and execution. It involves parts and materials selection, maintenance and repair process identification across the acquisition and sustainment domains.”<br> <br> <strong>New DAU Community of Practice</strong><br> <br> <img alt="" src="/PublishingImages/heat%20map.png" style="border-width:2px;border-style:solid;margin:10px;width:600px;height:274px;" /><br> In late 2019, DAU collaborated with OCPO to build a <a href="/cop/CPC/Pages/Default.aspx">Community of Practice (CoP) devoted to the vital space of Corrosion Prevention and Control (CPC)</a>. Under watchful eye Leslie Miller, the moderator for this new CoP, the community is already resource full of informational material, including <a href="">videos</a>, <a href="/cop/cpc/Pages/Course.aspx">training</a> aids, <a href="/cop/cpc/Lists/Corrosion%20Related%20Tools/Tiles.aspx">tools</a> and interactive content such as the corrosivity/climate heat map.<br> <br> More than 6,000 in-depth <a href="/cop/cpc/Pages/Documents.aspx">documents</a> serve Government, military industry, academia and allied nations partners – all working in tandem to reduce costs associated with corrosion and, ultimately, save lives.<br> <br> This collaborative environment underlines that corrosion prevention is truly everyone’s responsibility. Even the junior-most Service member learns to carefully clean and maintain their weapons and their unit’s equipment with the mindset that their lives depend on these tools.<br> <br> “Visual inspection is key,” Paul Chang, a program manager in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Materiel Readiness, said. Boots-on-the-ground reporting, he added, “allows leadership to look at smaller things, like fasteners, antenna mounts, etc., that drive costs.”<br> <br> <img alt="A visual patina guide shows the difference dangerous oxidation and desired antiquity." src="/PublishingImages/202008%20Corrosion%20Story%20-%20Patina.png" style="width:600px;height:278px;border-width:2px;border-style:solid;margin:10px;" /><br> Reiterating the importance of addressing corrosion before it starts, Robert Herron, Director, Corrosion Policy and Oversight, Office of the Secretary of Defense (Sustainment), released a <a href="/cop/cpc/_layouts/15/WopiFrame.aspx?sourcedoc=/cop/cpc/DAU%20Sponsored%20Documents/FY21%20Call%20for%20Projects%20Combined.pdf&action=default">memo</a> that included templates to follow for departments requesting funding to mitigate corrosion and examples for measuring program success.<br> <br> In one example, a NAVSEA deck-coating initiative demonstrated re-application savings across nine years.; in another program, a NAVAIR project centered on antenna mounts resulted in a reduction of 17 inspections per aircraft over 18 months. When you add up the number of air vehicles affected, including inspection labor and equipment downtime, the revenue savings go a long way toward reducing the billions lost in the DoD because of corrosion.<br> <br> <strong>Submit Your Battle-Ready Corrosion-Prevention Plan</strong><br> <br> In an effort to continue saving money lost by corrosion, Herron is soliciting project proposals to provide corrosion prevention resources during FY21. His <a href="/cop/cpc/_layouts/15/WopiFrame.aspx?sourcedoc=/cop/cpc/DAU%20Sponsored%20Documents/FY21%20Call%20for%20Projects%20Combined.pdf&action=default">July 31, 2020 memo</a> outlines the requirements for projects:<br> <br> • Feature a hardware, software, product, material, or process improvement (performance, safety, environmental, economic, engineering, etc.).<br> • Be a new project or an extension or adaptation of a previously successful project to a new application.<br> • Meet a specified service or DoD need as evidenced by a signed customer support statement with an intended user(s).<br> • Require no more than $2M in total OSD funding.<br> • Require no more than 4 years to complete development, testing, validation, and transition.<br> <br> The number of proposals submitted by a single Military Department is limited by a cumulative dollar amount not to exceed $8,000K for all proposals. Project plans must be reviewed by your office prior to submission to my point of contact no later than October 15, 2020.<br> <br> <em><a href="">Banner graphic</a>: BREMERTON, Wash. (Aug. 28, 2017) Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 2nd Class Leveque Paul, from Silver Springs, Maryland, and Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Sean Atkins, From Austin, Texas, use wire brushes to remove corrosion from a plaque in USS John C. Stennis' (CVN 74) hangar bay. John C. Stennis is in port training for future operations after completing its planned incremental availability (PIA) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility five days ahead of schedule. During PIA, the ship and shipyard team accomplished the largest work package ever for an aircraft carrier in a six-month availability. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dakota Rayburn/Released)</em></div>string;#/News/Corrosion-Prevention-and-Control-is-a-Community-Effort
Navigating the Impact of Digital Engineeringstring;#/News/Navigating-the-Impact-of-Digital-EngineeringNavigating the Impact of Digital Engineering2020-08-05T12:00:00Z Digital Engineering News Story.png, Digital Engineering News Story.png Digital Engineering News Story.png<div class="ExternalClassA769A3B40BF84983ABE69FB891DCA19F"><p>As the acquisition workforce steadily continues to operate in remote environments, the need for digital competency is greater than ever. To help bridge the knowledge gap in digital skills and understanding, DAU partnered with the Stevens Institute of Technology and the Systems Engineering Research Center to launch Digital Readiness, a nine-episode webcast series that focuses on emerging technologies and the impacts they have on Defense acquisition.</p> <p>The pilot, <a href="" target="_blank">“Age of Digital Engineering”</a> aired July 9 and featured guest lecturer Dr. John Wade of the University of California's Jacobs School of Engineering. </p> <p>“Digital engineering is an approach that captures and analyzes data,” Wade explained. “It enables people to leverage power of computing visualization, and communication to enhance efficiencies, quality and innovation across the complex system development lifecycle.” </p> <p>Wade noted that quality and innovation are not always so easy to obtain in an universe that "is becoming increasingly complex" and that industry success should not be taken for granted. Understanding Digital Engineering from a historical perspective — knowing its foundations — is imperative to predicting its future impact. </p> <p>“The digital transformation is all about using computation, visualization and communication, to make quality decisions and act on them quickly,” Wade said.</p> <p>From the <em>Treatise on the Circumference</em> to Punch Card Tabulation, the strides humans have made with technology are undeniable. However, according to Wade, it wasn’t until the invention of the HP-35 pocket calculator in 1972 and then, shortly after, the Apple II personal computer in 1977, where technology had its first true digital breakthrough. This breakthrough paved the way for the <a href="" target="_blank">Mead Conway Revolution</a>, a prolific period in technology where engineers managed to fabricate 20,000 transistors into a single chip, and <a href="" target="_blank">Moore’s Law</a>, which predicts that the speed and capability will increase every couple of years while the price will decrease. </p> <p>This is why Wade is optimistic that we’ve only reached the tip of the iceberg when it comes to digital capabilities.</p> <p>“The fact is,” Wade said, “we are all part of an increasingly digital world. COVID and the need for social distancing have accelerated the pace of change. If you are not connected digitally, you are not connected. The ability to communicate digitally, critically assess the validity of information, and create new information in a way that's private, safe and secure is becoming a requirement for everyone. It's critically important to us as a nation, with respect to our security and economic future, to embrace and advance digital engineering.”</p> <p>Other experts, such as SSI Vice President Troy Person, erred on the side of caution when it came to embracing the industry’s rapid evolution.</p> <p>During his July 16 panel <a href="" target="_blank">“Drivers, Challenges, Opportunities,”</a> he described Digital Transformation as a radical rethinking of how organizations use technology to change performance and maintain relevance during an ever-evolving world with impact on a larger scale. </p> <p>“We woefully underestimate exponential growth,” Peterson stated.</p> <p>And while growth is always a great modifier for success, it would be arrogant not to acknowledge the potential complications it could invite, if not managed carefully. </p> <p>The <a href="" target="_blank">Fourth Industrial Revolution</a> describes the merging of the physical, digital and biological worlds. This modern phenomenon is exemplified in the widespread acceptance of tools such as Amazon’s Alexa, bluetooth headphones, and grocery store self-check-out stations – all invented to make everyday living more convenient. Peterson is concerned that the next step of modern convenience - the long-term development and deployment of augmented intelligence - comes with a great deal of risk. </p> <p>“We need to be thinking about, as we automate things, that we keep the human in the loop, contextualizing the information,” he said. </p> <p>This paradigm shift will require a constant awareness of where humans are in the digital ecosystem. </p> <p>According to Peterson, leveraging the <a href="" target="_blank">Agile Systems Engineering Lifecycle Management Model</a> (ASELM) will create more competent digital models. Another method Peterson recommended for creating more competent models is by mimicking human system cognition — programming digital models to interact continually by switching between conscious and unconscious modes of thinking. </p> <p>“Teaming is the best solution,” Peterson stated. </p> <p>In a fitting conclusion to the Digital Engineering segment, the June 27 “Surrogate Pilot Experiments” episode focused on an in-depth examination of Digital Engineering’s impact. The webcast was presented by Dr. Mark Blackburn, senior research scientist at Stevens Institute of Technology and principal at KnowledgeBytes. </p> <p>Blackburn called on his experience as a Principal Investigator for NAVAIR to provide an overview of the NAVAIR Systems Engineering Transformation (SET) Framework and how to implement SET Surrogate Pilot Experiments to align with the goals of the DoD Digital Engineering Strategy. Throughout the episode, Blackburn referenced formal artifacts and models. </p> <p>“Engineers learn by example,” Blackburn said. “We have put modeling examples out there, which reflect on recommended modeling methods.”</p> <p>Blackburn explained that the way models are developed must comply with a methodological approach, noting that there is a difference between method and process, with method being the production of modeling artifacts and process referring to a do-this formal compliance concept. </p> <p>“It would be difficult to digitally sign off on a process, but you can digitally sign off on a model <em>artifact</em>,” he said. </p> <p>To demonstrate this, Blackburn used the <a href="" target="_blank">V Model</a>, a software development life cycle methodology that validates and verifies questions such as, “Are we developing a product that fulfills the user’s software needs?” and “Are we developing this product exactly to the design specifications?” </p> <p>“I think that we've done exactly what we're trying to do,” Blackburn said, “demonstrating the art-of-the-possible by doing everything in models to show we can.”</p> <p>His comments perfectly encapsulated the sentiment of the Digital Engineering-block of webcasts for the series: they did exactly what they were trying to do and showed the art of the possible that digital engineering can provide.</p></div>string;#/News/Navigating-the-Impact-of-Digital-Engineering



20 Questions Every Product Support Manager Should Be Prepared to Answer Questions Every Product Support Manager Should Be Prepared to Answer2020-07-01T16:00:00Z,<div class="ExternalClass3F537F9350AF4F8895CD610C25D8DCD9">While the majority of operating and support costs are incurred after a weapon system has been produced and fielded, they result in part from program decisions made earlier in the acquisition process—during system development—and are generally set before production begins. In 2009, as part of legislation aimed at improving the life-cycle management of major weapon systems, Congress required DOD to assign a product support manager (PSM) to each major weapon system program. The principal responsibility of the PSM is to develop and implement support strategies for weapon systems that maintain readiness and control life-cycle costs.<br> — Government Accountability Office Report GAO-17-744R Weapon Systems Management: Product Support Managers’ Perspectives on Factors Critical to Influencing Sustainment Related Decisions <hr /><img alt="" src="/library/defense-atl/DATLFiles/July_Aug2020/DefAcq_Jul-Aug2020_Article3_figure1.jpg" style="margin-left:3px;margin-right:3px;float:left;width:458px;height:500px;" />In the decade since Congress enacted, and the president signed into law, the requirement that “each major weapon system be supported by a product support manager,” the Department of Defense (DoD) has made major strides in implementing the life cycle management and product support requirements outlined in what is today Title 10 United States Code (U.S.C.) Section 2337. This includes perhaps the most critical requirement of all: developing and implementing a comprehensive, effective and affordable product support strategy for the weapon system.<br> <br> This is no easy feat considering the complexity, ambiguity, and challenges of the task that DoD product support managers (PSMs) face every day. Not to mention the myriad factors that lie outside of the PSM’s control, including evolving service life requirements, rapidly changing operational and environments and threats, emerging technologies, aging systems, wide variances in operational tempos and funding profiles, industrial base, obsolescence and diminishing manufacturing sources and material shortages, structural and corrosion issues, physical and cybersecurity supply chain risks, among a range of others.<br> The good news is that DoD PSMs have ample resources at their disposal to craft and execute successful product support strategies. Whether they be statutory requirements such as 10 U.S.C. 2337 Life-Cycle Management and Product Support, 10 U.S.C. 2443 Sustainment Factors in Weapon System Design, or others (Figure 1), Congress has given PSMs the authorities they need to successfully execute this vitally important mission. The DoD and the Services have, in turn, implemented a range of product support policies to further facilitate that success.<br> <br> The DoD also has crafted comprehensive guidance to provide powerful insights into how to successfully develop, test, implement, execute, refine, and modify successful product support strategies. A “baker’s dozen” of the most impactful can be found n the DoD Product Support Guidance Suite at <a href="/tools/p/integrated-Product-Support-Guidebook-Suite"></a>, including the Defense Acquisition Guidebook, the DoD Product Support Manager’s Guidebook, DoD Public-Private Partnering Guidebook, DoD Performance Based Logistics Guidebook, and DoD Operating and Support Cost Management Guidebook, among a range of others (Figure 2). And, of course, the military Services provide ample supporting policies and guidance of their own to backstop and reinforce.<br> <br> At each level, the focus is consistently on crafting and executing well-thought out, affordable product support strategies to achieve warfighter readiness and cost requirements. Common themes at all levels include early sustainment planning, system availability, readiness, supportability, reliability, maintainability, cross-functional integration, and ultimately affordable combat capability across the system life cycle.<br> <br> That said, zeroing in on our cadre of highly skilled, highly trained DoD PSMs, we have to ask ourselves a few pointed questions: Are you doing everything you can to achieve these requirements for your program? How have you and your team influenced system design for affordability and supportability? Does your program manager view you as a highly valued thought-leader during requirements determination, design trade discussions, configuration control boards, technical reviews, and independent logistics assessments? How about when conducting program-level market research, Analysis of Aternatives, crafting the program acquisition strategy, or making source-selection decisions?<br> <br> <img alt="" src="/library/defense-atl/DATLFiles/July_Aug2020/DefAcq_Jul-Aug2020_Article3_figure2.jpg" style="margin-left:3px;margin-right:3px;float:right;width:412px;height:400px;" />In a question that may hit close to home, do your program executive officer, program manager, functional community peers, life-cycle logistics staff, and supporting sustainment organizations implicitly trust you as an integral part of the program team? Or are you—and, by extension, product support writ large—generally an afterthought? The time to be concerned, I would contend, is not when the phone is ringing too often but rather when it stops ringing entirely.<br> Now to “get down to brass tacks,” I would encourage you to ask yourself a few tough questions, starting with: How well do you know the details of this extremely complex product support business? Are you a master of your craft? Do you intuitively understand the big picture across your program? Are you the program office go-to product support expert? Are you viewed by your peers as a trusted teammate? Are you perceived as being able to put the needs of your program above your own? Have you established a reputation for positive leadership, trust, rapport, and successfully delivering results? Is “can-do” your byword? Is “yes if,” rather than “no because,” your credo? Is mission-focused “servant leadership” your approach? Are character, collaboration, communication, and integrity your watchwords? And perhaps most important: If not you, who? If not now, when?<br> <br> If after careful consideration your answers are “no,” “not entirely,” “they’re not quite where they need to be,” or “I honestly don’t know,” permit me to encourage you to begin by taking stock and undertaking a concerted effort to hone your acquisition, life-cycle logistics, and product support skills. I might suggest reviewing the myriad resources, training, and references available through the DAU Life Cycle Logistics Functional Gateway at In addition to online, instructor-led, and virtual instructor-led logistics training courses and modules, communities of practices, job support tools, ACQuipedia articles, videos, podcasts, blogs, and even a comprehensive Life Cycle Logistics Professional Reading List, you will find easy access to a range of key DoD product support statutes, policies, and guidance documents.<br> <br> Next, I would recommend taking the time to build trust, rapport, and communication with your internal and external stakeholders, particularly your program office peers and functional community counterparts in the Systems Engineering, Business and Financial Management, Cost Estimating, Contracting, Test and Evaluation, and, of course, Program Management arenas. Take time to learn about their business, and appreciate the issues they face. Seek to expand your understanding of the challenges they’re dealing with, as well as to understand how they align with—and impact—programmatic life-cycle logistics considerations. To paraphrase a longtime colleague, “If you don’t have someone from another defense acquisition workforce functional community as a best friend, go get one”!<br> <br> <img alt="" src="/library/defense-atl/DATLFiles/July_Aug2020/DefAcq_Jul-Aug2020_Article3_figure3.jpg" style="margin-left:3px;margin-right:3px;float:left;width:479px;height:400px;" />In addition, I encourage you to invest what I somewhat sardonically call “your copious spare time” and energy into becoming your program’s go-to subject-matter expert for all things product support. No matter how good we are (or might think we are), each of us can always be better. To assist in this endeavor, think back to the parlor game called “20 Questions.” This game is designed to encourage participants to leverage innovation, logic, initiative, deductive reasoning, and creative thinking. Running through this game in your own mind affords you a microcosm of more broadly based product support considerations.<br> <br> If I may be so bold, permit me also to suggest a list of “20 Questions” you should consider asking yourself—and readily be prepared to answer if you’re ever asked by your program manager or Service leadership. When you can easily and candidly answer all 20—along with being prepared to provide supporting data, compelling fact-based rationale and context—you will be well on your way to becoming that trusted, highly successful product support subject-matter expert that Congress envisioned, your leadership demands, your colleagues expect, and your team members require. <ol> <li>What is our product support strategy? Are we certain it is the right approach? How do we know?</li> <li>How are we leveraging system test and evaluation and demonstrations to assess and affirm the veracity of our product support strategy?</li> <li>What are our key program product support metrics? Why were they selected? How well do they align with Sustainment Key Performance Parameter, availability, reliability, maintainability, and affordability requirements?</li> <li>When was our Life Cycle Sustainment Plan last updated? What has changed since? When will it next be revised?</li> <li>How effective is your interface, alignment, and integration with the Systems Engineering community? How do you know? Does the product support team have a seat at the table during program technical reviews, configuration control boards, and material improvement program review boards?</li> <li>What is our intellectual property strategy? How was it determined? Can we afford it?</li> <li>What are our primary product support risks—and what are our mitigation plan(s)?</li> <li>What product support should-cost initiatives have we implemented? What were the results? How do we know?</li> <li>When was our most recent Independent Logistics Assessment (or for fielded systems, post-initial operational capability sustainment reviews)? What were the results? What are we doing to resolve shortfalls? When is the next one scheduled?</li> <li>When was our Product Support Business Case Analysis last updated? Results?</li> <li>Who are our product support integrators (PSI) and product support providers (PSP)? Why and how were they selected?</li> <li>What kind of product support arrangements do we have with our PSIs and PSPs? How are we incentivizing desired outcomes? How are we flowing down program-level metrics requirements to the PSIs and each PSP?</li> <li>How do we mitigate risks in instances where we decide to transition sustainment workloads to a new PSI and/or PSPs?</li> <li>What is our depot source of repair strategy? What are the core logistics assessment results? Where applicable, do we have an executable, statutorily compliant plan to maintain and repair our system within 4 years after initial operational capability?</li> <li>Does our maintenance planning include public-private partnerships? Why or why not?</li> <li>Are we leveraging an affordable and effective performance-based logistics product support strategy to meet user performance requirements? Why or why not?</li> <li>What is our Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages and obsolescence mitigation strategy? Is it effective? If not, why not?</li> <li>What is our Supply Chain Risk Management strategy? Does it include—but also extend beyond—cyber threats? Is the entire program team on board?</li> <li>What is our product support funding profile? Does it meet projected support requirements over the Future Years Defense Program?</li> <li>What are our dependencies on—and working relationships with—key stakeholders, including in particular, DoD, Service, international, industry, and (where applicable) interagency sustainment organizations?</li> </ol> Permit me to also add an additional bonus question for your consideration; and perhaps it just might be the most important of all: How satisfied are our Warfighter customers with our product support strategy, planning, and execution?<br> <br> As the DoD stated in its response to the GAO report cited earlier, “… the establishment of this leadership position and its responsibilities within the program offices has strengthened the planning for and consideration of sustainment in defense acquisition programs.” To ensure this is reality and take this to the next level, I would encourage you to join your fellow product support managers across the department in playing (and replaying) this game of 20 Questions! <hr />Kobren is Director of the Logistics and Sustainment Center at the Defense Acquisition University, Fort Belvoir, Virginia.<br> <br> The author can be reached at <a class="ak-cke-href" href=""></a>.</div>string;#/library/defense-atl/blog/20-Questions--Every-Product-Support-Manager-Should-Be-Prepared-to-Answer
FIAR 2020 - The Nexus Between Acquisition and Audit Remediation 2020 - The Nexus Between Acquisition and Audit Remediation2020-07-01T12:00:00Z,<div class="ExternalClass8273BF5717F048DB8284A8572717CEC4">Agility, adaptability, and affordability—these words have a great deal in common. Not only do they start with the letter “a” but they also are themes of the Department of Defense (DoD) 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS) and necessary considerations for DoD entities conducting business through various acquisition processes. Furthermore, these words shape DoD’s current initiatives and undoubtedly will drive DoD’s future objectives and performance. <br> <br> All DoD entities have been conducting separate, yet much related, efforts that will remain woven into the DoD’s DNA. These efforts, referred to as Financial Improvement and Audit Remediation (FIAR), focus on transparency, accountability, and process improvement to enhance operations. The DoD has received record-high annual budgets to maintain a national-security advantage and to achieve crucial modernization objectives.<br> <br> While the DoD clearly demonstrates success in its warfighting mission, it has been unable to pass a financial audit in accordance with law. A key pillar of the NDS is to “reform the Department for greater performance and affordability.” This objective is equally associated with acquisition as it is with audit remediation. The DoD’s immediate and future success will be directly measured by acquisition outcomes. In addition, success will depend largely on DoD’s ability to transform its business practices and provide audited documentation—proof—to Congress and U.S. taxpayers that DoD is appropriately using, and can be accountable for, the substantial resources received. Let us outline the relationship between DoD’s acquisition and audit remediation efforts and review some valuable information on DoD’s latest FIAR efforts and future expectations to successfully achieve a favorable audit position. <h3>Acquisition—Today</h3> The 2018 NDS has driven DoD’s transformational acquisition activities to support the Warfighter. Specifically, the NDS acknowledged that the United States must enhance its lethal force, strengthen alliances, and modernize business practices to sustain an unmatched competitive advantage. It also explains that longstanding bureaucratic approaches result in immense unresponsiveness and prevent the DoD from capitalizing on opportunities in a timely manner. DoD entities implemented timely actions in recent years to support the NDS. For example, the Army established Army Futures Command in 2018 with the objective of completely modernizing the Army in view of the present environment and expected threats. The Navy created an innovation office in 2019, known as “NavalX,” to develop partnerships and networks to enable improved collaboration on Warfighter needs. In addition, the Air Force hosted innovational “pitch day” events in 2019 and 2020 to attract new partners to support the DoD and help deliver state-of-the-art military solutions. The ultimate Air Force objective is to expand the DoD industrial base while conducting business in highly flexible ways. Finally, in January 2020, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment released official policy and a handbook centered on DoD’s Adaptive Acquisition Framework (AAF). The AAF is intended to help DoD entities deliver Warfighter capabilities at the speed of relevance since there is no universal acquisition roadmap for all defense-related procurements. While these examples illustrate some of DoD’s impactful initiatives relative to acquisition activities today, it is highly likely that additional changes will continue in future years. <h3>FIAR—Today</h3> FIAR is synonymous with accountability and transparency. It also is a large and ongoing DoD-wide effort that necessitates proper internal controls and risk management. At the broadest level, FIAR efforts require every DoD entity, regardless of size or mission, to provide confidence to U.S. taxpayers and Congress that: (1) financial information is accurate, complete, and fairly presented; and (2) internal controls allow for efficient and effective operations that prevent and deter fraud, waste, and abuse. The effort encompasses many areas, including but not limited to: <ul> <li>Verifying the location, count, and condition of military equipment, general equipment, inventories, and real property</li> <li>Evaluating the methods and documentation used to value DoD’s military equipment within major systems</li> <li>Testing DoD’s business systems to assess data integrity and the risk of security vulnerabilities</li> <li>Validating the existence and accuracy of personnel records documentation</li> </ul> <br> The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) (OUSD(C)) FIAR Directorate is the lead DoD office spearheading the FIAR efforts across the enterprise. The OUSD(C) coordinates with each DoD entity’s senior leaders and provides guidance and support to ensure that the FIAR objectives are met. The OUSD(C) also directly supports the Secretary of Defense and regularly engages with Congress on FIAR-related efforts. Beyond DoD organizations, and their personnel and external service providers, the efforts also involve thousands of independent public auditors (IPAs). IPAs perform audits and examinations and assess the effectiveness of corrective actions implemented in response to audit findings and recommendations.<br> <br> Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 is an important year for the DoD and its FIAR efforts as the DoD builds on the results of the extensive audits conducted in FYs 2018 and 2019. The DoD proactively identified priority areas and will continue completing remediation efforts to address the audit findings and recommendations. <h3>Intersection Between DoD Acquisition and FIAR</h3> The DoD’s acquisition and FIAR efforts are different but very much related. Acquisition typically applies to DoD personnel and entities involved with acquisition programs or other functions directly supporting the Warfighter. These efforts account for the majority of DoD’s overall workforce and annual budgets. Alternatively, FIAR applies to all DoD entities and all personnel supporting those entities. This includes the Military Departments, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Combatant Commands, DoD’s Fourth Estate (civilian) agencies, DoD’s field activities, and industry partners. Since FIAR efforts and associated outcomes apply to the entire enterprise across the globe, FIAR efforts remain a priority for all entities ultimately pursuing an unmodified (i.e., clean) audit opinion. As an example, the DoD acknowledged Government Furnished Property as a material weakness and a priority area for remediation in FY 2020.<br> <br> FIAR efforts include collaborating with the acquisition community to discuss and further understand audit requirements and working closely with industry partners to provide what is needed to support the audit. The benefits of the audit go beyond good stewardship of taxpayer dollars. The audit can improve business operations among acquisition activities and enhance national security by mitigating cybersecurity vulnerabilities. The DoD also assumes risks by not obtaining a positive audit opinion. For example, the DoD could lose the confidence and support of U.S. taxpayers and experience enterprise-wide or program-specific budget cuts that could affect competitiveness and Warfighter lethality. <br> <br> The DoD spent approximately $900 million on audit-related efforts in FY 2019. This amount included the costs of audits, examinations, financial systems, remediation efforts, and personnel supporting the audit. Since DoD’s FY 2019 budget was $687.8 billion, the DoD spent roughly 0.13 percent of its total budget on audit-related efforts last year. Although the dollar amount spent to support the audit is similar to how much DoD organizations could spend on some acquisition programs, the percentage spent on audits is comparable to percentages spent by private sector and non-profit entities on audit efforts in relation to total revenues or operating budgets. Additional funding for FIAR efforts will be required beyond FY 2022 pending the DoD’s improvements made or outcomes reached. Congress is closely monitoring the DoD’s progress on FIAR efforts, and the DoD’s inability to obtain an unmodified audit opinion could directly impact the DoD’s ability to complete sound acquisition efforts now and in the future. More time will be needed to complete the changes—the financial management issues were not created overnight. <br> <br> T<img alt="" src="/library/defense-atl/DATLFiles/July_Aug2020/DefAcq_Jul-Aug2020_Article1_Image1.jpg" style="margin-left:3px;margin-right:3px;float:left;width:280px;height:400px;" />he DoD’s mission remains critical and the primary driver for budget requirements will be based on Warfighter needs. Accordingly, Congress must give careful consideration when making funding decisions so the Warfighters and their operations are not impacted negatively. A favorable audit position will provide immense benefits for DoD’s FIAR and acquisition efforts, ultimately fostering efficient processes, better decision making, greater transparency/accountability, fewer audit findings, and better Warfighter support. <h3>FIAR—How We Got Here</h3> FIAR efforts officially began in 2010, but actions to improve the federal government’s financial management processes and systems have been ongoing since 1990. The Chief Financial Officers Act (CFO) of 1990 was enacted to improve the federal government’s financial management practices. Specifically, the law required the implementation of enhanced accounting systems and internal controls to produce reliable financial information. The law also required that financial statements of all federal executive agencies, including the DoD, be audited annually. The National Defense Authorization Act of 2010 required that DoD’s financial statements be prepared for an audit by end of FY 2017. From FY 2010 through 2017, FIAR efforts were associated with “audit readiness” initiatives since the DoD was prepping itself to successfully undergo its first and highly anticipated audit in FY 2018. FIAR’s theme changed from “audit readiness” to “audit remediation” after the DoD underwent its first audit year. Remediation reflects the DoD’s efforts to address the Notices of Findings and Recommendations (NFRs) as well as the unfavorable audit opinion issued by the IPAs.<br> <br> The DoD remains the only executive agency that has not yet obtained a favorable audit opinion. In addition, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has reported DoD financial management on its high-risk list since 1995 and the DoD’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) reported DoD financial management as one of its top management challenges for FY 2020. Findings from prior year FIAR efforts reveal the severity of material weaknesses and how necessary the audits are from a business standpoint. IPAs issued more than 3,400 NFRs and 2,300 NFRs from the audits performed in FY 2018 and FY 2019, respectively. During the audits, some DoD entities uncovered property, such as weapons systems or facilities, not previously recorded in property management systems or for which proper documentation was not available to support purchases. The DoD received 25 material weaknesses from its FY 2019 audit. The sidebar below identifies the weaknesses.<br> <br> While the financial management challenges and material weaknesses are significant, the DoD has made meaningful progress toward its goal of obtaining an unmodified audit opinion. For instance, the DoD closed more than 600 (approximately 25 percent) of NFRs issued in the FY 2018 audit. Most of those corrective actions taken to close NFRs were related to business systems and information technology. Furthermore, the DoD ascertained that all major military equipment was successfully verified for existence and completeness, no significant problems were found with payments made to military or civilian personnel, and no evidence or instances of fraudulent activities were found.<br> The FIAR efforts have resulted in immediate value and enhanced operations across the DoD. Table 1 outlines some of the success stories. <h3><img alt="" src="/library/defense-atl/DATLFiles/July_Aug2020/DefAcq_Jul-Aug2020_Article1_table1.jpg" style="margin-left:3px;margin-right:3px;float:right;height:600px;width:677px;" />Where We’re Going and How You Fit In</h3> FIAR efforts remain a top priority in FY 2020 and the following years among DoD leadership and all DoD entities. The efforts are accompanied with exceptionally high interest and continuous scrutiny from Congress, the GAO, and the OIG. The DoD began the FY 2020 financial statement audits in January 2020 with the OUSD(C) providing regular updates to Congress on the audit efforts and corrective action plans to better position the DoD toward attaining an unmodified audit opinion. The OUSD(C) expects that the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) will alter the timing and scope of the FY 2020 financial statement audits and delay DoD’s remediation activities (particularly those requiring physical access to assets). As a result, the OUSD(C) and the Office of Management and Budget are assessing the full impact of the pandemic relative to financial reporting. The DoD will continue to work with its IPAs to explore alternate testing procedures and adjust as necessary to maintain critical momentum on this important effort.<br> <br> The NFRs and material weaknesses will not go away on their own and will not be resolved overnight. Improvements will only be made if DoD organizations continue to enhance financial management operations, systems, and other supporting activities that link to the FIAR efforts. Personnel in financial management, along with those in contracting, program management, engineering, logistics, information technology, human resources, and other areas play an intrinsic role to reach the desired end state. The OUSD(C) expects the FY 2020 audits will demonstrate valuable progress across the enterprise, including eliminating and/or downgrading of material weaknesses, improving audit opinions for individual entities, and driving continued cultural changes to help the DoD improve and sustain its progress. Figure 1 shares DoD’s “roadmap” based on its current audit strategy and plans.<br> In addition to continuous engagement with Congress, the OUSD(C) will take other actions to ensure that the DoD follows its outlined strategy. Specifically, the OUSD(C) will lead financial management events with DoD’s senior leaders and comptrollers. The ultimate intent is to identify and mitigate significant FIAR-related issues and prioritize corrective actions based on resources. <h3><img alt="" src="/library/defense-atl/DATLFiles/July_Aug2020/DefAcq_Jul-Aug2020_Article1_figure1.jpg" style="margin-left:3px;margin-right:3px;float:left;width:735px;height:500px;" />Conclusion</h3> “You are not responsible for the past, but insofar as you do nothing, you are complicit in the present created by it” (Jonathan R. Miller, popular author). It is vital for everyone supporting the DoD to be aware of the FIAR efforts and associated initiatives that will drive future actions for continuous performance improvement and compliance with laws and regulations. The future of DoD acquisition must be accompanied by agility, adaptability, and affordability to achieve the NDS objectives; however, efficient and effective acquisition efforts will be possible only if the entire DoD meets the accountability requirements through its ongoing FIAR efforts. The major efforts planned to reach an acceptable financial state unquestionably will involve all DoD entities, supporting industry partners, and IPAs. The efforts also will remain a team sport since the roadmap to success is not solely dependent on financial management personnel. Collectively, the DoD owes it to the Warfighter and U.S. taxpayers to reach that acceptable state so that the DoD can soundly deliver, and continue to deliver, on national defense. <hr />Kadiri is the Director for Financial Improvement and Audit Remediation (FIAR) Directorate within the Department of Defense (DoD), Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) (OUSD(C)). She is DoD Financial Management Level III certified, a Certified Defense Financial Manager (CDFM), and a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute. Smith is a staff accountant within the DoD’s FIAR Directorate Office (OUSD(C). She is DoD Financial Management Level III certified, a Certified Defense Financial Manager (CDFM), and leads the DoD Consolidated Audit. Speciale is a Senior Acquisition Specialist supporting the DoD and is a former Professor of Financial Management at the Defense Acquisition University. He is DoD Financial Management Level III certified, a Certified Defense Financial Manager–Acquisition and a Certified Fraud Examiner.<br> <br> The authors can be contacted at <a class="ak-cke-href" href=""></a>; <a class="ak-cke-href" href=""></a>; <a class="ak-cke-href" href=""></a>.<br></div>string;#/library/defense-atl/blog/FIAR-2020---The-Nexus--Between-Acquisition--and-Audit-Remediation



20% Tuition Grant for DoD Acquisition Workforce Members at Bellevue University Tuition Grant for DoD Acquisition Workforce Members at Bellevue University2020-08-05T16:00:00Z text.jpg, text.jpg text.jpg<div class="ExternalClass6812D9E2357244B5A6DF8C98233E179A">Bellevue University offers a 20 percent tuition grant for all workforce members and a generous credit transfer of DAU coursework to our university, meeting – and in some cases exceeding – ACE credit recommendations for your coursework. For example: <ul> <li>At an undergraduate level, your DAU coursework can mean up to 60 credit hours already fulfilled towards a degree such as a <strong><em><u>Bachelor’s in Supply Chain and Logistics Management.</u></em></strong></li> <li>Workforce members with their Level II or Level III DAWIA Certification in Contracting start with 1/4 of their <a href=""><strong><em>Master's Degree in Acquisition and Contract Management</em></strong></a> or the <a href=""><strong><em>MBA with a concentration in Acquisition and Contract Management</em></strong></a> completed.</li> <li>Members who have successfully completed PMT 360 can apply 6 credit hours toward their <strong><em><u>Master’s degree in Project Management</u></em></strong>.</li> </ul> <br> The Leader in Online Learning<br> Bellevue University has been a leader in distance learning for more than 30 years and was the first to offer an online MBA and entire bachelor’s degrees online. That experience means the university understands the needs and challenges of students studying remotely.<br> Bellevue University is unique in its creation of an entire college, the College of Design and Development, where its specific unit of instructional designers’ sole role is to bring to life the latest techniques and technologies for distance learning.<br> They collaborate with faculty to ensure content is engaging and teachers are on top of their brief when it comes to the Active Learning that the university is known for – learning experiences that students can apply to advance their career and role immediately.<br> During the past 30 years, the university has taught nearly 50,000 students online – all of whom have had access to a wide range of student services mirroring, and even surpassing, those for campus-based students. These include: <ul> <li>An Online Writing Center</li> <li>Online Tutoring Services</li> <li>24/7 Library Access to Over 500,000 Resources</li> </ul> <h4><strong>Your path to advancement starts </strong><em><u>here</u></em><strong>.</strong></h4></div>string;#/partnerships/blog/20-Tuition-Grant-for-DoD-Acquisition-Workforce-Members-at-Bellevue-University
Excelsior College gives credit where credit’s due. College gives credit where credit’s due.2020-07-21T16:00:00Z,<div class="ExternalClassBEA46FDCADD0453483C407A36AA6CFE1">Be awarded up to 15 credits for your Defense Acquisition University training toward a 30-credit Master of Public Administration. Excelsior College’s newly redesigned Master of Public Administration (MPA) helps you reach your educational and career goals faster. With your DAU courses, you may be halfway to completing your MPA. In as little as one year, you could complete your master’s degree with Excelsior College.<br> Are you a Federal Government employee looking to transfer training credits you’ve completed for college credits? As a federal employee you may be eligible to transfer those training credits to Excelsior College through our partnership. <a href="">Learn</a> more about how training classes have been evaluated for college credit through our partnership. Another great advantage Excelsior College offer is the ability to take UExcel exams and test out of areas that you might already have experience in rather than sitting for an 8-week class. <a href="">Learn</a> more about how testing exam options work through disciplined self-study guides and materials!<br> <br> Through the educational partnership Excelsior College has with <a href="">DAU</a> there are many advantages to going back to school. Not only will you save on tuition and fees, as well as enjoy a generous transfer credit policy that includes credit for workplace and military training, prior learning assessment, and credits earned from other colleges and universities, you will achieve personal growth. Putting your educational needs on the forefront of your goals could really help in this journey we call life! It’s not always easy to see the worth in what could be accomplished by going back to school but listening to other views and standpoints can be extremely helpful.<br> <br> If you have any questions or want further clarification on the partnership and how you can get started please reach out to:<br> <br> Stephanie Cietek<br> Partnership Manager<br> 518-859-3471<br> <a class="ak-cke-href" href=""></a></div>string;#/partnerships/blog/Excelsior-College-gives-credit-where-credits-due



Public-Private Partnering for Strategic Business Collaborationstring;#/training/career-development/logistics/blog/Public-Private-Partnering-for-Strategic-Business-CollaborationPublic-Private Partnering for Strategic Business Collaboration2020-08-05T16:00:00ZBill Kobrenstring;#/training/career-development/logistics/blog/Public-Private-Partnering-for-Strategic-Business-Collaboration
Depot Level Maintenance Planning and Managementstring;#/training/career-development/logistics/blog/Depot-Level-Maintenance-Planning-and-ManagementDepot Level Maintenance Planning and Management2020-08-05T12:00:00ZBill Kobrenstring;#/training/career-development/logistics/blog/Depot-Level-Maintenance-Planning-and-Management
New Online Course on Competition Requirements!string;#/training/career-development/contracting/blog/New-Online-Course-on-Competition-Requirements!New Online Course on Competition Requirements!2020-08-04T16:00:00ZDiane Bublakstring;#/training/career-development/contracting/blog/New-Online-Course-on-Competition-Requirements!
October 2020 USAF Advanced Manufacturing Olympicsstring;#/training/career-development/logistics/blog/October-2020-USAF-Advanced-Manufacturing-OlympicsOctober 2020 USAF Advanced Manufacturing Olympics2020-08-04T16:00:00ZBill Kobrenstring;#/training/career-development/logistics/blog/October-2020-USAF-Advanced-Manufacturing-Olympics



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