The Pentagon has formally created a group of defense companies that can get broader access to classified initiatives known as special-access programs, hoping that more insight will make contractors more efficient and cost-conscious.
In a Dec. 15 memo to the defense industrial base, Pentagon acquisition boss Ellen M. Lord formalized the SAP Contractor Portfolio Program, which ran as a pilot initiative for several years. The effort will help companies balance the need to understand technology development with the need to protect that information.
“As the world sees a return to great power competition, the Department of Defense must strengthen its engagement with the defense industrial base in order to respond to the national security challenges facing the United States in a more responsive and cost efficient manner,” Lord wrote.
“However, the new phenomenon of rapid technology proliferation has also increased the level of technology protection necessary to maintain the United States’ competitive edge. This increased protection, resulting in many activities being secured in special access programs, challenges the DOD’s ability to share critical information and to collaborate with the DIB to deliver capability to the warfighter,” she said.