Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Operational Sciences

First Advisor

Alan W. Johnson, PhD


This research examined how well the goals and objectives of total system performance responsibility (TSPR) are being met. The research was sparked by the rise of implementing TSPR as an element of an acquisition strategy in many weapon and information systems. Acquisition professionals use TSPR to decrease total ownership cost, improve system performance, and optimize public-private support capabilities while maintaining operational flexibility. However, while the number of programs that use or plan to implement TSPR or some form of contractor support and sustainment continues to increase, little research has been conducted concerning the effectiveness of TSPR as an element of an acquisition strategy. TSPR transfers performance responsibility and risk to the contractor by giving the contractor more discretion over design, configuration, and requirements solutions. The contractor is also given performance responsibility over the fielded system. The government retains program management as well as budget and contracting functions. Under TSPR the roles and relationship between government and contractor change from oversight to insight. Research findings indicate that management should carefully consider the appropriateness of TSPR for a given program. TSPR has the potential to be an effective element of an acquisition strategy, but requires contractor innovation, change management, successful long-term partnerships based on mutually aligned goals and consensus among government personnel concerning core activities.

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DTIC Accession Number