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Representative Thornberry has introduced a discussion draft of his proposed FY19 acquisition reform efforts. In it he proposes to separate the definition of "commercial item" into "commercial product" and "commercial service." The following is the proposed definition of "commercial product" (emphasis added below): I'm curious to hear others' interpretations of the meaning of paragraph 4 (in bold above). Thanks in advance to anyone willing to share her/his thoughts.
@Vern Edwards has mentioned the idea of the Department of Defense (DOD) having its own acquisition laws and regulations-- completely separating it from civilian agency acquisition laws and regulations. Maybe you can throw in some other high-dollar, national-security-related agencies like Department of Homeland Security, Department of Energy, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The National Defense Authorization Act often includes DOD-specific legislation, so this wouldn't be a revolutionary change. PepeTheFrog hears rumors of the desire to legislate a "Defense Small Business Act" and move all small business contracting laws under Title 10, Armed Forces. This would exempt DOD from Title 15 and the Small Business Act. It would allow DOD to run small business programs with total autonomy and independence from the Small Business Act and the Small Business Administration. (1) What do you think of the political feasibility? Would this cause a fight between the H/S Small Business Committees and the H/S Armed Services Committees? (2) How should DOD shape its own small business contracting and small business programs? The 2018 National Defense Strategy focuses on lethality, rapid acquisition, acquisition reform, and technological innovation from small businesses. (3) PepeTheFrog hears rumor of the desire to let the civilian agencies handle the "breadline" socioeconomic stuff and let DOD focus on getting innovative technology from small businesses, rather than distributing taxpayer money to a specific ethnicity, sex, or economic region. If that happens, the Small Business Act goal of 23 percent will be impossible to meet because DOD spending is usually more than half of that effort. Of course, that would be the point of exemption from the Small Business Act. (4) If you could eliminate any of the small business programs in DOD, which would you eliminate? Which would you keep? Why?