SEC. 814. CONFIGURATION STEERING BOARDS
FOR COST CONTROL UNDER MAJOR DEFENSE ACQUISITION PROGRAMS.
(a) Configuration Steering Boards- Each Secretary of a military
department shall establish one or more boards (to be known as a
`Configuration Steering Board') for the major defense
acquisition programs of such department.
CHAIR- Each Configuration Steering Board under this section
shall be chaired by the service acquisition executive of the
military department concerned.
(2) PARTICULAR MEMBERS- Each Configuration Steering Board
under this section shall include a representative of the
The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for
Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics.
(B) The Chief of Staff of the Armed Force concerned.
(C) Other Armed Forces, as appropriate.
(D) The Joint Staff.
(E) The Comptroller of the military department concerned.
(F) The military deputy to the service acquisition executive
(G) The program executive officer for the major defense
acquisition program concerned.
(H) Other senior representatives of the Office of the
Secretary of Defense and the military department concerned,
GENERAL- The Configuration Steering Board for a major defense
acquisition program under this section shall be responsible
for the following:
Preventing unnecessary changes to program requirements and
system configuration that could have an adverse impact on
program cost or schedule.
(B) Mitigating the adverse cost and schedule impact of any
changes to program requirements or system configuration that
may be required.
(C) Ensuring that the program delivers as much planned
capability as possible, at or below the relevant program
DISCHARGE OF RESPONSIBILITIES- In discharging its
responsibilities under this section with respect to a major
defense acquisition program, a Configuration Steering Board
review and approve or disapprove any proposed changes to
program requirements or system configuration that have the
potential to adversely impact program cost or schedule; and
(B) review and recommend proposals to reduce program
requirements that have the potential to improve program cost
or schedule in a manner consistent with program objectives.
PRESENTATION OF RECOMMENDATIONS ON REDUCTION IN REQUIREMENTS-
Any recommendation for a proposed reduction in requirements
that is made by a Configuration Steering Board under paragraph
(2)(B) shall be presented to appropriate organizations of the
Joint Staff and the military departments responsible for such
requirements for review and approval in accordance with
(4) ANNUAL CONSIDERATION OF EACH MAJOR DEFENSE ACQUISITION
PROGRAM- The Secretary of the military department concerned
shall ensure that a Configuration Steering Board under this
section meets to consider each major defense acquisition
program of such military department at least once each year.
(5) CERTIFICATION OF COST AND SCHEDULE DEVIATIONS DURING
SYSTEM DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT- For a major defense acquisition
program that received an initial Milestone B approval during
fiscal year 2008, a Configuration Steering Board may not
approve any proposed alteration to program requirements or
system configuration if such an alteration would--
increase the cost (including any increase for expected
inflation or currency exchange rates) for system development
and demonstration by more than 25 percent; or
(B) extend the schedule for key events by more than 15
percent of the total number of months between the award of
the system development and demonstration contract and the
scheduled Milestone C approval date, unless the Under
Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and
Logistics certifies to the congressional defense committees,
and includes in the certification supporting rationale, that
approving such alteration to program requirements or system
configuration is in the best interest of the Department of
Defense despite the cost and schedule impacts to system
development and demonstration of such program.
GENERAL- The requirements of this section shall apply with
respect to any major defense acquisition program that is
commenced before, on, or after the date of the enactment of
(2) CURRENT PROGRAMS- In the case of any major defense
acquisition program that is ongoing as of the date of the
enactment of this Act, a Configuration Steering Board under
this section shall be established for such program not later
than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.
Guidance on Authorities of Program Managers After Milestone B-
MODIFICATION OF GUIDANCE ON AUTHORITIES- Paragraph (2) of
section 853(d) of the John Warner National Defense
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 (Public Law 109-364;
120 Stat. 2343) is amended to read as follows:
`(2) authorities available to the program manager, including--
the authority to object to the addition of new program
requirements that would be inconsistent with the parameters
established at Milestone B (or Key Decision Point B in the
case of a space program) and reflected in the performance
agreement, unless such requirements are approved by the
appropriate Configuration Steering Board; and
`(B) the authority to recommend to the appropriate
Configuration Steering Board reduced program requirements
that have the potential to improve program cost or schedule
in a manner consistent with program objectives; and'.
APPLICABILITY- The Secretary of Defense shall modify the
guidance described in section 853(d) of the John Warner
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 in
order to take into account the amendment made by paragraph (1)
not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this
Major Defense Acquisition Program Defined- In this section, the
term `major defense acquisition program' has the meaning given
that term in section 2430(a) of title 10, United States Code.
Configuration steering boards for cost
control under major defense acquisition programs (sec. 803)
The committee recommends a provision that would require the
secretaries of the military departments to establish
configuration steering boards (CSBs) to control costs on major
defense acquisition programs. CSBs would be responsible for
reviewing any proposed changes to program requirements or system
configuration that could have the potential to adversely impact
program cost or schedule and for recommending changes that have
the potential to improve program cost or schedule in a manner
consistent with program objectives. The committee expects any CSB
decisions with regard to program requirements pursuant to
subsection (c)(2) of this provision to be signed personally by
the Chairman of the CSB.
In its March 2008 report on selected weapon programs, the
Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that changes in
program requirements often have a significant adverse impact on
cost and schedule. According to GAO:
Unsettled requirements in acquisition programs can create
significant turbulence. Sixty-three percent of the programs we
received data from had requirement changes after system
development began. These programs encountered cost increases of
72 percent, while costs grew by 11 percent among those programs
that did not change requirements.
On July 30, 2007, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition,
Technology, and Logistics directed the secretaries of the
military departments to address this problem by establishing CSBs
to control requirements. The Under Secretary's memorandum states
The CSBs will review all requirements changes and any significant
technical configuration changes which have the potential to
result in cost and schedule impacts to the program. Such changes
will generally be rejected, deferring them to future blocks or
increments. Changes may not be approved unless funds are
identified and schedule impacts are mitigated.
The committee understands that the implementation of CSBs by the
military departments has been uneven. By institutionalizing the
CSB process, the provision recommended by the committee would
ensure that CSBs become an effective mechanism for cost control
on major defense acquisition programs.
SECTION 846--SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT AND
DEMONSTRATION BENCHMARK REPORT
This section would require the secretary
of a military department to submit a system development and
demonstration benchmark report for each of the following
programs: Broad Area Maritime Surveillance, Combat Search and
Rescue Helicopter, Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, Aerial Refueling
Tanker (KC-45A), Presidential Helicopter (VH-71 Increment II),
and the unmanned aerial vehicle, Warrior--Alpha. The benchmark
report would include a description of the requirements, estimated
development cost, program schedule, and other program matters.
This section would also require semi-annual contract performance
reports until a full rate production decision is made for each
program. This section would further require that the Under
Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (USD(AT&L))
establish a Configuration Steering Board for each of these
programs and to notify the congressional defense committees of
major cost increases and significant schedule delays. Finally,
this section would prohibit the milestone decision authority from
granting approval to proceed to low-rate initial production if
the system development and demonstration costs for such a program
grow by more than 25 percent, or if the program schedule slips by
more than 15 percent. This restriction could be waived if the
USD(AT&L) certifies to the congressional defense committees that
proceeding to low rate initial production is in the best interest
of the Department.