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GAO's Watchblog provides a snapshot of Government-Wide Contracting for FY19 with DoD at the top of the list. Out of the department's $381.2B in contracts, Services account for $189.7B versus $191.5B for products and Aircraft, fixed wing, leads the list of products bought. What else can we learn from these data?
Since GAO's 2017 High-Risk Report, their assessment of all five criteria remains unchanged for DoD Contract Management. DoD continues to demonstrate top leadership support for addressing challenges in its (1) acquisition workforce, (2) service acquisitions, and (3) operational contract support (OCS), which is defined as planning for and obtaining supplies, services, and construction from commercial sources in support of joint operations. GAO noted that DOD continues to take action to meet the demonstrated progress criterion—with additional management attention needed for service acquisition.
Watchblog noted an increase of $20B in FY19 over the previous year; spend on DoD services accounted for a ~$15B increase ($175.0B in FY18). Within services, the top categories were Professional Engineering/Technical, General Health Care, Logistics Support, Professional: Other, and Maintenance and Repair of Aircraft Equipment. That's a lot of Knowledge-Based Services as has traditionally been the case.
To promote small business participation in federal contracting, there is a government-wide goal to award about a quarter of contract dollars to small businesses. DoD in FY19 awarded $75.7B to small business out of $318.2B, or 23.8%, exceeding the department's goal. The Office of Small Business Programs tracks DoD's goals over the years on their Goals and Performance page. You can also find goals for FY2020 posted.
To close, while the data do not reflect spending on COVID-19 response, a Coronavirus page provides blogs on this topic including one on the Military's pandemic response.
The recently released, DODIG-2020-079 Report on the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) Cloud Procurement presents the reults of the DoDIG review.
On July 26, 2018, the DoD issued a Request for Proposals to obtain cloud computing services using a single-award Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract. The Request for Proposals stated that the contract would have a maximum value of $10 billion, over a potential 10-year performance period, if the DoD exercised all option periods. Multiple protests of the solicitation and more recently the award ensued.
I find the section "JEDI Cloud Acquisition Strategy and Key Acquisition Milestones" particulary informative with respect to single award Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contracts. The rationale selected by the USD(A&S) was use of a firm fixed price contract type. This was part of Oracle's protest. The DoDIG comments on this indicating that "regarding the firm-fixed-price exception under 10 U.S.C. 2304a(d)(3) (2018)" that the U.S. Court of Federal Claims concluded that the term “established” meant “at the time of” entering the contract. The JEDI Cloud contract left some future requirements open with respect to pricing.
DoDIG's Recommendation 1: We recommend that the Acting Director for Contract Policy, Defense Pricing and Contracting, consider developing and implementing appropriate policy to require some level of documentation and analysis supporting key acquisition decisions, including any legal reviews and advice, for contracts that exceed the $112 million threshold established by statute.
Feel free to reply to this post to discuss this and other points you find of interest. Adam Stroup, Editor, ACE for Services
IPPS-A is an online Human Resources (HR) system that will provide integrated personnel, pay and talent management capabilities in a single system to all Army Components for the first time ever. IPPS-A will improve the lives of Soldiers, and their Families, and how the Army interacts with them by transforming decades-old personnel systems to a 21st century talent management system. It will provide three essential capabilities to the Army: Total Force Visibility, Talent Management and Auditability.
A story in FNN reports Army National Guard moves to modern personnel system, gives soldiers mobile access. IPPS-A replaces the Standard Installation and Division Personnel Reporting System (SIDPRS), which was a giant leap in the early 1980s.
The system will also help the National Guard with the COVID-19 response. For example, soldiers can take a picture of a birth certificate, prove the birth of a new child and put it in the system without having to come in contact with another human and risk spreading the coronavirus.
The Army is now focusing on adding the other components (Active and Reserves) of the service to IPPS-A and building additional features.
Federal News Network headline from the annual WEST 2020 conference in San Diego reports on this initiative before congress for FY21. [Note: open this article to follow links]
The Defense Innovation Board in 2019 concluded in its final report that current “color of money” restrictions undermine DoD’s software acquisitions. According to the board, separation of software development into research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E), procurement, and operations & maintenance (O&M) appropriations and the use of cost-based triggers within each acquisition category causes delays and places artificial limitations on the program management office’s ability to quickly meet changing needs, resulting in increased lifetime cost of software and slower deployment. Further, modern, agile approaches used in commercial software development will result in faster deployment and significant cost savings when unconstrained by 'color of money' considerations..
UPDATE 26 June 2020: The Category Management Community is live. Look for Policy, Success Stories, Market Intelligence, BIRs/CIRs, Training Resources, Industry Reports and Organizational Newsletters.
The Category Management Community of Practice is a forum designed to facilitate the acceleration of the Department's Category Management efforts by:
UPDATE 12 DEC 2019: Coming soon, the new Category Management Community of Practice. Click on the title of this post to access the link to the community!
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FSMs Do You Need a Credential?July 16, 2020 We have a proposed pair of Credentials for the Functional Services Manager (FSM). Based on the...
DAU's Mission Assistance Portfolio and ServicesApril 17, 2020 DAU's iCatalog is a great resource to find out what workshops are available. But nothing better than to have someone to talk to about Mission Assistance for your acquisition and the Community...
ACQ 305, Services Acquisition Management Office goes Virtual as the planet attempts not to go viral.March 18, 2020 Update of 31 March 2020. The ACQ 305 student pilot finished last Friday, 27 March with 17 successful graduates. We appreciate all the hard work of the student teams and their feedback...
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