Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT January-March 2011 Contents ARMY AL&T
CONTRACTING COMMUNITY HIGHLIGHTS
We are in an era of unprecedented trans-
parency and reform that will change
the way Army acquisition does busi-
ness in the execution of contract actions. It is
clear that the Army Acquisition, Logistics, and
Technology Workforce needs to work smarter and
more efficiently in obligating government funds. The
federal budget is shrinking, so every dollar spent will be scrutinized.
The message is clear: Spend each dollar like it is your own. Be vigilant
in dealing with vendors to maximize competition and control costs.
In a Sept. 14, 2010, memorandum for acquisition personnel,
Dr. Ashton B. Carter, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition,
Technology, and Logistics, provided guidance for obtain-
ing greater efficiency and productivity in defense spending.
Highlighting this guidance is an emphasis on targeting afford-
ability and controlling cost growth, incentivizing productivity
and innovation in industry, promoting real competition,
and reducing non-productive processes and bureaucracy. In
addition, there is guidance on improving the tradecraft in
services acquisition, including requirements definition, mar-
ket research, competition, fixed-price incentive fee contracts,
and cost efficiency objectives (see related article on Page 46).
Implementation instructions were released Nov. 3, 2010, to
put this guidance in motion. For the complete text of the
implementation directive, visit http://www.acq.osd.mil/docs/
In my column in the April--June 2010 issue, I talked about
"hot button" topics that are of key interest to the contracting
community. While we are making progress in some areas by
standardizing processes and getting the word out, a great deal of
improvement is still needed in the following areas:
• Justification and Approval documentation is critical to telling
the story of why we need to take a contract action. Rationales
for your decisions and actions must pass the test of whether
they make sense and are in the best interest of the government.
• A Quality Assurance (QA) program must be present on the
contracts we write. Contractors must be held to performance,
and the documented results of the QA inspections must be
kept to help defend the government's rights during a dispute.
• If a contracting officer’s representative is assigned to a con-
tract, he or she must be trained and qualified to perform
• There are too many instances of inadequate government
property administration when government-furnished equip-
ment is given to a contractor. Property books need to be
maintained to track our assets and to ensure that they are
returned to the government at the completion of the contract.
• Cost and Price (C&P) analysis remains a focus area. It is criti-
cal to obtain the proper amount of C&P data to measure the
contractor's offer and document the analysis of the data that
lead to a contracting officer's decision to award.
The contracting community's Procurement Management
Review teams are instructed to measure the effectiveness of
executing these critical functions during their reviews of opera-
tional contracting sites this fiscal year.
These are exciting times to be in the contracting career field.
Each of you holds the key to our success in getting the best
bang for the buck and still delivering weapon systems and ser-
vices to the warfighter on time and on budget. Thank you for
the professionalism and dedication you bring to work with you
every day to accomplish this important mission.
Edward M. Harrington
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army
(DASA) for Procurement
Editor's Note: After more than 35 years of dedicated service to the
U.S. Army, Mr. Harrington left government service in December
2010 to re-enter private life. Mr. Lee Thompson, the Deputy Assistant
Secretary of the Army for Strategic Communications and Business
Transformation, has been named the Acting DASA for Procurement.
How Army Acquisition Is Evolving
to Paperless Contracting
Steve A. White
As the Army fights terrorism and supports contingency
operations around the world, the acquisition community is
entrenched in providing warfighter support in an efficient,
effective, and fiscally responsible manner. One of the means
to achieve this is paperless contracting, which started as an
initiative of the Defense Reform Act of 1997 and has pro-
gressed throughout the acquisition environment, touching the
requirement identification, contracting, finance, and logistics
communities. The Defense Reform Act of 1997 encompasses the
whole process of acquisition reform, reporting, and transpar-
ency; a portion of the reform was initiated back in 1986 and
has evolved into the current transparency request.
ACQUISITION, LOGISTICS & TECHNOLOG
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