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GAO Highlights: Software Acquisition

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  • Thanks for attending the GAO Highlights: Software Acquisition webinar!

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    Speaker slides for this webinar have been posted on the Attachments Tab above.  If you are unable to download the PDF, please send an email to [email protected] and include the webinar title in the subject line requesting a copy of the slides.

    Event Title: GAO Highlights: Software Acquisition 

    Event Date: 18 January 2024

    Event Times (Eastern): 1400-1500 ET

    CLP’s: 1

    Who Should Attend: Those acquisition professionals who work in software acquisition roles and want to better expedite the development and delivery of Defense software for weapon and IT systems.

    Event Description:

    DAU is pleased to host GAO as they share their research, analysis, and reporting about Defense software acquisition published in their April 2023 report, “Software Acquisition: Additional Actions Needed to Help DOD Implement Future Modernization Efforts”.

    To respond to evolving threats, DOD must rapidly develop and deliver software for weapon and IT systems. Several years ago, DOD’s advisory boards on science and innovation recommended ways to improve software development within the department, many of which have been implemented. DOD has taken additional steps to modernize its software development approaches, policies, and workforce—however, significant work remains. This webinar will cover GAO’s findings and recommendations.

    The Government Accountability Office (GAO) provides Congress, federal agencies, and the public with fact-based, non-partisan information that can improve government operations and save taxpayers billions of dollars.

    Participant Resources:

    Click on the Attachments Tab above to download the following PDF files:

    • GAO report: Software Acquisition: Additional Actions Needed to Help DOD Implement Future Modernization Efforts (GAO-23-105611) Published: Apr 05, 2023. Publicly released: Apr 05, 2023, (or view online at  https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-23-105611 ) 
    • GAO Report:  Defense Software Acquisitions: Changes to Requirements, Oversight, and Tools Needed for Weapon Programs (GAO-23-105867) Published July 2023.

      Event Contact:  [email protected] (please include the webinar title in your subject line)
       
    Speakers
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    Brian Fersch

    Brian Fersch

    Senior Analyst at the Government Accountability Office (GAO)

    Brian Fersch is a Senior Analyst at the Government Accountability Office (GAO), in GAO’s Contracting and National Security Acquisitions team. In his role he focuses on Command & Control, Communications, Computers, and Cyber (C5) issues as well as emerging technologies. He has contributed to or lead engagements on a number of topics including software acquisition, Cyber Command’s Joint Cyber Warfighting Architecture, and defense satellite communications.

    Brian joined GAO in late 2019 after working hands-on in DOD acquisition programs for over 15 years; including roles as CFO for a $3.5B acquisition portfolio, a Technical Director for Electronic Systems Cost & Program Analysis, and operations research analyst with both the Air Force and Army service cost agencies. Prior to his federal service, Brian worked at a startup internet service provider to develop and deploy one of the country’s first commercially available wireless broadband services.

    Brian holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Maryland, a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Virginia Tech, and is a graduate of the US Air War College. He lives outside of Boston, MA with his wife and their dog—enjoying travel, the outdoors, well-made coffee, and poorly playing banjo.

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    Andrew Burton

    Andrew Burton

    Senior Analyst at the Government Accountability Office (GAO)

    Andrew is Senior Analyst at the Government Accountability Office, focused on contracting and national security acquisition issues. Since joining GAO in 2014, Andrew has led reviews on issues related to DOD’s use of federally funded research and development centers, disaster contracting and purchase card use, DOD command and control and strategic satellite communications, and software modernization at DOD. Andrew holds a Master of Public Service and Administration from Texas A&M University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Gettysburg College. He lives in Charlottesville, VA with his wife and three boys. 

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    Anne McDonough

    Anna McDonough

    Assistant Director at the Government Accountability Office (GAO)

    Anne is an Assistant Director at the Government Accountability Office, focused on contracting and national security acquisition issues. Her current portfolio includes DOD weapon system acquisition and DOD acquisition policy and reform. Since joining GAO in 2005, Anne has led also reviews on issues including DOD’s training and equipping of Iraqi forces to counter ISIS, the use of contractors within the civilian intelligence community, and contingency contracting at DOD, the Department of State, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. From 2016 – 2017, Anne was detailed to the House Armed Services Committee to assist with acquisition reform efforts. She also served in GAO’s Baghdad office from 2010 – 2011 and GAO’s Kabul office from 2013 – 2014, where she managed fieldwork for GAO’s portfolio of defense and international development engagements. Prior to joining GAO, Anne worked as a marketing strategy consultant, conducting quantitative and qualitative research to advise Fortune 100 and other companies on strategy decisions focused on consumers, media, and technology. 

    Anne holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of California, Berkeley, a Master of Arts degree in Defense and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College, and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from The George Washington University. She lives in Annapolis, MD with her husband and 14-year-old son and enjoys scuba diving in tropical destinations whenever she gets the chance.

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    Robert Bullock

    Robert Bullock

    Assistant Director at the Government Accountability Office (GAO)

    Robert is an Assistant Director at the Government Accountability Office, focused on contracting and national security acquisition issues. Since joining GAO in 2009, he has managed reviews related to a variety of DOD topics, including software acquisition, federal research centers, major weapon system contracting, contractor compensation, the acquisition workforce, and the F-22 and MQ-25 programs. He has also led reviews on COVID-19 and VA contracting and was detailed to the House Armed Services Committee in 2018 – 2019 to support acquisition reform efforts. Prior to GAO, Robert worked for several years in the private sector identifying and sharing innovative procurement practices used by leading companies. 
    Robert holds a master’s degree in history from the London School of Economics and a bachelor’s degree in international politics from Georgetown University. He lives in Arlington, VA with his wife and 9-year-old daughter and is an avid soccer fan.
     

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    Major Christopher Stephen, USAF

    Major Christopher Stephen, USAF (Host)

    Professor of Acquisition Management (DAU)

    Major Christopher Stephen is a Professor of Acquisition Management at the Defense Acquisition University, Kettering, Ohio. He provides instruction on Agile Software Development, Earned Value Management, and Intermediate Systems Acquisitions. Maj Stephen received his commission through the Air Force Reserve Officer training Corps (ROTC) Program at Central Washington University in 2005. He has held multiple program management and instructor positions including C-21 Logistics Support Project Manager, C/KC-135 Modification Manager, Mission Planning Program Manager, Air Force Modeling and Simulation Training Toolkit Manager, and Assistant Director of Operations at Air Force Basic Military Training. Prior to his current position, Maj Stephen was the Senior Wargame Analyst for AFMC/A5/8/9.


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