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New DOD Office To Oversee Space And Intel Acquisition

By | June 23, 2008

      A new organization within the Pentagon acquisition chief’s office responsible for all acquisition oversight of Defense Department space and intelligence programs has been officially established with Joshua Hartman at the helm.

      Hartman was designated acting director of the Space and Intelligence Capabilities organization within the office of John Young, the under secretary of defense for acquisition, logistics and technology (USD AT&L), according to a memo Young signed June 5.

      Hartman most recently was a senior aide to USD AT&L and previously was a congressional staffer.

      The new organization "will perform and be accountable for all acquisition oversight and related matters concerning DOD Space and Intelligence programs," Young wrote in the memo establishing the organization.

      The director of this new organization will lead the Space and Intelligence Overarching Integrated Product Team (OIPT), "replacing existing Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Space OIPT structures," Young’s memo says.

      The "director, space and intelligence capabilities" also will be the primary adviser to Young "on all issues associated with our end-to-end Space and Intelligence infrastructure," he wrote.

      According to Young, the new organization "will perform oversight for all programs managed in the Space and associated ground portfolio as well as all national and military intelligence programs."

      Offices that have dealt with such space matters — the office of the assistant secretary of defense for networks and information integration, office of the under secretary of defense for intelligence, and National Security Space Office – "may continue to provide support,"

      he wrote. Such support would be "on performance definition, requirements advocacy, policy compliance, and architectural development as required by the Director," he continued.

      Young told reporters June 5 that the new space and intelligence organization within OSD AT&L is intended to ensure "corporate oversight" of space.

      "Sometimes the service plans aren’t as joint as they should be, they’re not as interoperable as they should be, or they’re not fully funded, or they’re just not logical in terms of their chasing … too much requirement for not enough money," he said at a Pentagon roundtable.

      The Air Force lost milestone decision authority for space earlier this decade. After the personnel shakeup following the scandal involving Darleen Druyun, the former service acquisition deputy who served prison time in 2005 for favoring The Boeing Co. [BA], the office of USD AT&L assumed milestone decision authority for Air Force programs.

      When some vacated leadership positions were filled in 2006, AT&L relinquished acquisition authority for non-space programs to the Air Force, but maintained such authority for space programs.

      "That has been the status quo since then," an Air Force spokeswoman said about space acquisition authority.

      The departure last August of former Air Force Under Secretary Ronald Sega "did not impact this situation one way or the other," she said.

      Young told reporters he doesn’t "foresee the Air Force getting acquisition decision authority back in my tenure unless somebody orders me to do it."

      "The Acquisition Community is uniquely positioned to maintain the objective perspective and proper checks and balances necessary to appropriate management and oversight of the Nation’s acquisition programs," Young wrote in his memo. "The Department must capitalize on this to ensure acquisition success and good stewardship of the [taxpayers’] money."

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