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Mar 28, 2008


-- Jim Durkee

This is a follow-up to my last comment. I am now uncertain that the Quadrennial Defense Review is, in fact, a "strategic plan" governed by 5 USC 306. However, even if this statute does not apply to the Quadrennial Defense Review, it does add weight to the notion that the development of the Quadrennial Defense Review is an inherently governmental function as that term is used in the FAR and Circular A-76.

-- Jim Durkee

I believe the potential contract action mentioned here would violate the provisions of 5 U.S.C. § 306(e). The section reads, in part, as follows:

“5 U.S.C. § 306. Strategic plans

(a) No later than September 30, 1997, the head of each agency shall submit to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and to the Congress a strategic plan for program activities. Such plan shall contain—

(1) a comprehensive mission statement covering the major functions and operations of the agency;

(2) general goals and objectives, including outcome-related goals and objectives, for the major functions and operations of the agency;

(3) a description of how the goals and objectives are to be achieved, including a description of the operational processes, skills and technology, and the human, capital, information, and other resources required to meet those goals and objectives;

(4) a description of how the performance goals included in the plan required by section 1115 (a) of title 31 shall be related to the general goals and objectives in the strategic plan;

(5) an identification of those key factors external to the agency and beyond its control that could significantly affect the achievement of the general goals and objectives; and

(6) a description of the program evaluations used in establishing or revising general goals and objectives, with a schedule for future program evaluations.

(b) The strategic plan shall cover a period of not less than five years forward from the fiscal year in which it is submitted. The strategic plan shall be updated and revised at least every three years, except that the strategic plan for the Department of Defense shall be updated and revised at least every four years [I believe this is the “Quadrennial Defense Review”].

* * * * *

(e) The functions and activities of this section shall be considered to be inherently Governmental functions. The drafting of strategic plans under this section shall be performed only by Federal employees.”

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Stu Wilde

This is just another example of how pathetic our government really is. We are now using contractors at a record level, but we are still spending more and more money every year and receiving goods & services that are often overcharged/of poor quality/wrought with corruption/filled with criminal negligence, etc. That's what outsourcing has done to our government.

KSBR wannabe

Some well known consulting firms and nonprofits supported each of the military departments and OSD to produce the last two cycles of the QDR. You would recognize all the names. They have the intellectual thought leaders to help the government think through the QDR.

The government has been seeking outside advice in virtually all sectors since around WWII. You shouldn't be shocked about the QDR support. And you would be hard pressed to find OCOI risks even if you had the particulars. Not going to happen. Read the QDR and you will see why it is unlikely, even if the companies wanted to, to work the QDR to their own benefit. Again, Mr. Amey, try reading the QDR. The last one is interesting, because it did not assume that Iraq and Afghanistan would become such a quagmire.
Consider for a moment, though---What if the contractors did grunt research, provided analytical frameworks or did some of the analysis, made recommendations to government decisionmakers, and helped with all aspects of document production. Through the traditional lens, none of those activities is the making of decisions or policy. Government people do that. In the current environment, no doubt, some folks, even POGO, might want to move the goal posts for inherently governmental. You can do that, but don't expect the anointed warriors to get off their duffs and dedicate staff to do what the support contractors do. After all, they have two wars to fight, weapons systems to buy, troops to train, etc....


Awww, look...The Military Industrial Complex got all growed up and is writing its own policy like a big boy!


Now the Evangelicals and wingnut think tanks will be making strategy. Consult with 'God' before they will be able to make a decision. But it will never be what Jesus would do. Thank God for athiesm.

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