Competition is a key consideration for fostering innovation and affordability for defense applications. The Acquisition Strategy for all programs should describe the competition planned for all phases of the program’s life cycle, or explain why competition is not practicable or not in the best interests of the Government. To promote synergies that facilitate competition and innovation, the Program Manager (PM) should, where feasible, identify other applications for the technologies in development within the functional capability areas identified by the Joint Staff. [1]

Acquisition Strategies for Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAP) shall describe the measures taken to ensure competition or the option of competition, at both the prime and subcontract level throughout the program life-cycle. It should document the rationale for the selection of the planned subcontract tier or tiers, and that prime contractors to give full and fair consideration to qualified sources. The measures taken to ensure competition may include the following: [1]

  • Competitive prototyping
  • Dual-sourcing
  • Unbundling of contracts
  • Funding of next-generation prototypes or subsystems
  • Use of modular
  • Open architectures to enable competition upgrades
  • Use of build-to-print approaches to enable production through multiples sources
  • Acquisition of complete technical data packages
  • Periodic competition for sub-system upgrades
  • Licensing of additional suppliers

Market Research, competition and incentive strategies should be discussed in the business strategy section of an Acquisition Strategy. Market research needs to be done to identify capable sources of supply to promote competitive best value acquisitions, to evaluate the possibilities for commercial and/or non-developmental materiel solutions, to assess all size business capabilities and the status of the marketplace. Competition should be employed to drive pricing and affordability wherever possible, and a well planned incentive strategy should support the accomplishment of cost and/or schedule goals. [1]

DAU Glossary Definition – Competition
An acquisition strategy whereby more than one contractor is sought to bid on a service or function; the winner is selected on the basis of criteria established by the activity for which the work is to be performed. The law and DoD policy require maximum competition, to the extent possible, throughout the acquisition life cycle.

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