War Department Procurement Planning
The Preparation of Specific Procurement
PlansIn their procurement planning activities
throughout the 1920's and 1930's, the successive Assistant Secretaries attempted as
thorough a program as available funds and
personnel would allow. Early in the program the procurement planning function
was seen to possess two major objectives:
(1) the development of specific and detailed plans for the procurement of all
important items for which the War Department had procurement responsibility; (2)
the formulation of general policies, procedures, and organizational plans for the effective conduct of a wartime procurement
program. The specific procurement plans
were developed by the several supply arms
of the Army within the framework of the
general procurement policies laid down by
the Planning Branch. These in turn were
meshed with the broad plans for nationwide
industrial mobilization. All plans were, so
far as possible, kept up to date and responsive to current estimates of military requirements based on the latest staff plans for
troop mobilization. Finally, it was taken for
granted that the actual procurement of
munitions in time of war, as in peacetime,
would be accomplished by the established
military procuring agencies.The task of devising realistic plans for
producing vast quantities of specific munitions was conceived as requiring a "cradle-
to-the-grave" type of planning which
would--for all important items--anticipate
and prepare for every step in the procurement process. Because of statutory limitations on the allowable number of planning
personnel and in order to reduce to mare
ageable proportions the burden of procurement planning upon industry as well as the
government, the War Department confined
its detailed planning activities to items
known to present the most difficult procurement problems. In the mid-1930's the
supply arms were instructed to classify all
their procurement requirements into three
|Section I-Those items which present difficult procurement problems and require intensive formal plans.|
|Section II-Those items which present only
minor procurement problems within the
branch, and for which only informal planning
|Section III-Those items which present no
procurement problems, and for which no
plans are necessary.|
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: The Army and Economic Mobilization.
Contributors: R. Elberton Smith - Author.
Publisher: Office of the Chief of Military History.
Place of publication: Washington, DC.
Publication year: 1959.
Page number: 48.
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