The Defense Science Board (the Board) is a task force of basic and applied scientists who provide advice, recommendations, and technical expertise to the Department of Defense (DOD) on a range of matters such as weapons systems, cyber security and defense strategies. Established in 1956, the Board currently maintains 32 members and seven ex-officio members (chairmen of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Policy, Defense Business Board, and Defense Intelligence Agency advisory committees). Members are appointed for terms that range from one to four years. In recent years, the Board has issued two reports related to the use of contractors by the DOD.
This report by the Defense Science Board's Task Force on Contractor Logistics details an assessment by the Board of operational contract support (OCS) used by the Department of Defense. Noting that the use contractor personnel in conflicts has risen dramatically and at times outnumbered military personnel, the Board identified six key findings regarding the use of OCS by the DOD including: a lack of recognition of OCS strategic importance; the critical nature of OCS in humanitarian organizations; the need for risk management assessment; and the need for auditing in a timely manner. The report also provides eight recommend actions to address these concerns.
This report from the Board's Task Force on Services Contracting outlines the DOD's purchasing of contract services which account for over 50 percent of the DOD's acquisition budget. The Task Force identifies five key findings, including: the lack of policies, regulations and management structures for services contracting; the inadequacy of workforce training and experience; and an urgent need for guidance on functions always to be carried out by government personnel. The report also provides four recommended actions to address these findings.