The stated purpose of the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) is to bring order and efficiency to the Defense Procurement Process. However, their own operations, from my observations, lack the discipline and controls necessary to safeguard the efficient use of taxpayer money.
The first example comes from this morning. I, among thousands of others, received an 8 MB email announcing a one-day small business procurement conference in Orlando. The email included not a PDF conference flyer, but a Powerpoint slide that was 4 MB in size for ONE slide. This email triggered limits on my email box, preventing mission critical messages regarding on-going negotiations for a critical system from reaching me in a timely manner. In addition, even if this email was sent to, conservatibely, 1,000 people in the Defense acquisition community, that means the transmission and storage of 8 GB of data for an event that has ZERO applicability or impact to the jobs we do. This excessive use of bandwidth and storage has a real cost to taxpayers.
The second example centers around my trip to Huntsville, AL for a two week class. This class included students from all over the country who flew in for what was advertised as a ten-day class. The first day, the instructors said that the class was really only 8.5 days and that people should change their flights accordingly. This meant the incurred costs of time and money in changing tickets. Aside from the fact that this constitutes a blatant waste of taxpayer resources as described, the fact that DAU requires students come to them as opposed to sending instructors out to the field to conduct the classes is tantamount to robbery of the U.S. taxpayer. The math says it all. Let's assume 30 students at an average cost of $3,500 per student to travel to DAU:
30 * $3,500=$105,000 PER CLASS in travel costs alone!
Send an instructor out? (1 * 3,500) + $1,000 (classroom rental)= $4,500.
Cost savings? $100K per class.