WASHINGTON — Space Force officials have been working to meet required congressional report deadlines even as DoD business and operations across the board are being disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.
A report due to Congress on March 31 will recommend changes to how Space Force procurement programs are funded and managed. The report is in final draft and on track to be delivered on time, Shawn Barnes, head of the office of the assistant secretary of the Air Force for space acquisition and integration, told SpaceNews March 18.
Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett and Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond will review the report before it goes to the office of the Secretary of Defense and the White House for final approval.
“So far the COVID-19 hasn’t slowed that down,” said Barnes. Meetings are being conducted by phone and video as many DoD offices are teleworking. One concern is that some of the discussions associated with the report include classified information and cannot be done on cell phones or home computers. That means some officials still have to come into the Pentagon for classified meetings which can only be attended by small groups, Barnes said.
Congress in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act directed the Secretary of the Air Force to propose an “alternative space acquisition system.” Congress has been critical of the Pentagon’s acquisition bureaucracy and said it would consider alternative approaches so the U.S. Space Force can more quickly procure next-generation technology.
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