DOD's Kendall pushes data for better buying

November 6, 2012

Frank Kendall is leading an effort to increase the use of data in DOD purchasing.

A top defense acquisition official plans to update the Defense Department’s Better Buying Power Initiative and push more data analysis into acquisition decision-making. Yet while DOD will benefit from collecting information, experts say, trying to gather too much will come at a cost.

Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, and other defense officials seem to believe the more data they can get, the lower the prices, observers say. Moreover, Kendall, who is described as “a data guy,” wants to probe into business cases rather than just accept reported conclusions. He wants to get information from studies on trade-offs and seek out data that may not support the business case. He is seeking an in-depth and well-rounded picture of the acquisition at hand, said Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president and counsel for the Professional Services Council.

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