After fielding, O&M funds are the predominant source of funding for system sustainment for both PBL and traditional transactional approaches, although other types of funds may still be used for disparate but critical sustainment functions, e.g., depot maintenance, spares, software and personnel. This then drives the need for multiple ‘lines of accounting’ that may restrict PBL execution activities, and may complicate tracking and baselining of sustainment costs. The use of appropriated funds also limits the length of the contract – which can be antithetical to the outcome-based goals of true PBL efforts.
A key tenet of PBL as identified in OSD’s PBL Guidebook is the requirement to provide sufficient contract length for the product support provider to recoup investments on improved product and sustainment processes. (https://shortcut.dau.mil/JST/pbl-guidebook). DWCF are revolving funds established to satisfy recurring DoD requirements using a businesslike buyer-and-seller approach. (https://shortcut.dau.mil/acq/wc_fund). The structure of the DWCF allows for contracts with multiple year performance periods and also allows coverage of a wide degree of sustainment functions, as long as they are supporting the end-items’ performance outcome. The Navy Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Weapon Systems Support (NWSS) has demonstrated great success in awarding long-term PBL contracts in this manner. (https://www.navsup.navy.mil/public/navsup/wss/)
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