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Progression Since the ’90s
a presidential initiative from the 1990s directed that govern-
ment agencies set a goal of going paperless, and congress
provided the guidance and legislation to support this plan. In
response, the army contracting community created a paper-
less automated system that provides the entire contracting
community with a way to create solicitations, solicitation adver-
tisements, proposal, response, review, and award.
The paperless concept is evolving and expanding beyond the
contracting community, allowing for seamless, undisturbed com-
munication. Proposed expansion of the paperless process, both
conceptual and real, is reflected within the acquisition process
of requirement conception, award, receipt or acceptance, pay-
ment, performance evaluation, and closeout. at the front end,
requirement generation and identification include the customer’s
participation. Business opportunities are identified, solicitations
are disseminated, contractors are provided with information,
proposals are delivered, awards are distributed, and notifications
are made electronically. The contract specialist leverages preset
templates generated from specific dollar limits tailored to spe-
cific needs, to produce a faster contract-building process.
another available electronic tool for customers is the assign-
ment of purchase cards that provide purchasing ability directly
to the requiring office, making them invaluable in the contin-
gency environment. Within dollar limits, customers can fulfill
their purchasing needs and acknowledge receipt or acceptance
via Web-based systems. Performance of receipt or acceptance
is a seamless process because the contractor can submit invoices
online for government review and approval. after electronic
verification, the contractor is paid electronically. customers
gain real-time information to better enable future funding and
other sourcing or requirements.
The evolving paperless initiative requires all customers wanting
to do business with the army or DOD to register with central
contractor registration. contractors must participate in the elec-
tronic acquisition environment as a primary requirement to do
business with the government. additionally, all contracts issued by
the army will contain provisions for electronic funds transfer to
ensure continuity through the final stage of the paperless process.
currently, the army financial community has solidified its
involvement with the acquisition community with the development
and deployment of the General Funds Enterprise Business
System. This paperless system communicates with the contracting
community to bridge any gap between the contracting community
and the requiring and resource office for general fund actions.
The Paperless Future
The contracting community is not resting on its accomplish-
ments. We continue to actively seek and plan ways to increase
our effectiveness and efficiencies and to further develop
paperless contracting beyond the acquisition community.
The automated paperless environment has become an invaluable
tool to support President Barack Obama’s transparency initiative.
The contracting community continues to explore all possibilities
to provide the best value to the warfighter, as well as the best support.
The paperless process continues to evolve with technical development
and creative thinking from our workforce, customers, and industry.
Steve A. White is a Procurement Analyst with the Deputy Assistant
Secretary of the Army for Procurement, Enterprise Business Directorate.
He holds a B.A. in advertising from Howard University and an
M.S.A. in procurement management from Webster University. White is
an Executive Leadership Program graduate from the U.S. Department
of Agriculture Graduate School and is certified Level III in contracting.
Program Executive Office Simulation,
Training, and Instrumentation Takes
Acquisition Interns to New Heights
Kristen A. McCullough
Interns from Program Executive Office Simulation, Training,
and Instrumentation (PEO STrI) experienced firsthand the life
of a Soldier while witnessing how PEO STrI training devices
are used, as part of the PEO’s fourth acquisition academy,
Sept. 7–9, 2010, at Fort Benning, Ga.
after a 7-hour bus trip from Orlando, FL, the day before, the
interns started their first morning as “students” in airborne
The paperless contracting initiative started as part of the Defense Reform Act
of 1997. (Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.)
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