Many in DoD had observed that since the Director of Defense Research and Engineering was the department's chief acquisition official, assignment of the DD(T&E) under this official posed a conflict of interest, and violated the BRDP
admonition that when responsibilities for evaluation are subordinated to the developer, "the requisite objectivity is seriously jeopardized." October 1977 saw a minor power struggle over where responsibilities for OT&E should be assigned to satisfy the BRDP
concerns, and it resulted in responsibilities for OT&E being reassigned to the ASD(Program Analysis and Evaluation).
In July 1970, President Nixon's Blue Ribbon Defense Panel (BRDP) reported its findings.
The BRDP had three main findings relative to the conduct of T&E: "functional testing" (we use the term "developmental testing" today) is fundamentally sound; operational testing is generally inadequate, and the Services do not conduct enough joint test and evaluation.
Pertaining to operational test and evaluation, however, the BRDP found that "Operational test and evaluation has been too infrequent, poorly designed and executed, and generally inadequate." The panel's recommendations regarding T&E, and thus the actions taken by DoD to implement those recommendations, essentially focused on correcting deficiencies in operational test and evaluation (OT&E), and have driven the primary focus in defense acquisition for the past 40 years.
The BRDP also highlighted the lack of OT&E oversight in OSD as a "glaring deficiency" and reported that "In connection with test and evaluation, it should be emphasized that responsibilities for any evaluation function must be exercised independently.
Packard promptly began acting on the BRDP recommendations.