Performance of CAS within DoD has been studied and modified for many years. In the early 1960’s a study was commissioned by the Secretary of Defense to examine the entire DoD contracting process. Known as “Project 60,” the findings pointed to numerous benefits to consolidating contract administration functions. At that time, each agency and military service was performing their own contract administration which resulted in a great amount of duplicate effort. Many of the contract administration responsibilities were eventually moved to the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) however the military services continued to retain oversight of the major acquisition programs.
The CAS process was again reviewed in 1989. Citing continued problems with the manner in which the services were performing CAS, Defense Management Review Decision (DMRD) 916 recommended the establishment of a joint command to perform CAS for DoD, to ensure that consistent policies and standards were applied to the acquisition process. DCMC was established as a command within the Defense Logistics Agency in February 1990 to satisfy the findings of DMRD 916.
On March 27 2000, DCMC was renamed as the Defense Contract Management Agency and established independently from DLA. DoD Directive 5105.64 formally established the purpose and mission of DCMA and, save for specific exceptions detailed in DFARS, all DoD activities are required to delegate contract administration functions to DCMA.