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4/22/2020 7:20 PM

What's Category Management (CM)?  It's a little different in the Department of Defense than what you will find on GSA's Acquisition Hallways, or in OMB policy and the Air Force has been making great strides with their CM program.  The DoD's implementation of Category Management (CM) consists of a structured, data-driven business practice whereby the organization broadly and strategically analyzes and manages common categories of spend with an enterprise-wide focus in order to eliminate redundancies, increase efficiencies and enhance mission effectiveness.  Given the Air Force's success, we ought to examin their processes and luckily we can bring you an introduction to CM courtesy of the USAF.  By completing the Introduction to Air Force Category Management, you will learn about the history of CM in the Federal government and US Air Force (USAF), the USAF 4 principles of CM, Roles and Responsibilities, and the 6 Step CM Process.  Upon successful completion, you will receive a certificate awarding you 1 CLP.  Please note, you must complete this training in one session.  Allow yourselft at least an hour to do so.

  
2/10/2020 7:33 AM

The new DoDI 5000.74 Defense Acquisition of Services was signed today (Jan. 10, 2020). The Adaptive Acquisition Framework, Services pathway was updated and reflects this new issuance.

  
2/10/2020 7:30 AM

​Rapid Deployment Training for DoDI 5000.74, Defense Acquisition of Services is now available from DAU's RDT page along with recently released instruction 5000.80 and 5000.81 on Mid Tier Acquisition and Urgent Capabilities, respectively.  Click here for the 5000.74 RDT.

  
  
  
  
  
Guidance on Using Incentive and Other Contract Types (DoD, 2016).aspx
  
Reference5/14/2020 5:54 AM
Awards for Army's Responsive Strategic Sourcing for Services.aspx
  
Reference5/13/2020 7:42 AM
DODIG-2020-079 Report on the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) Cloud Procurement.aspx
  
Report5/13/2020 7:28 AM
AFFARS 5337 Service Contracting.aspx
  
Reference5/13/2020 7:16 AM
GAO-15-88 Defense Contractors  Additional Actions Needed to Facilitate the Use of DOD's Inventory of Contracted Services.aspx
  
Report5/13/2020 6:26 AM
GAO-15-780 DOD Contract Services  Improvements Made to Planning and Implementation of Fiscal Controls.aspx
  
Report5/13/2020 6:21 AM
GAO-16-119 Improved Use of Available Data Needed to Better Manage and Forecast Service Contract Requirements.aspx
  
Report5/13/2020 6:14 AM
AF Category Management.mp4
  
Learning Material5/8/2020 6:20 PM
GAO-20-220SP GAO Bid Protest Annual Report to Congress for FY19.aspx
  
Report4/9/2020 10:37 AM
SAW_Step 0 Assessment.docx
  
Report4/9/2020 9:17 AM
  
Picture: ADAM STROUP
  • ADAM STROUP
05/13/2020 10:34 AM

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

5/13/2020 10:34 AMNo
  
Picture: ADAM STROUP
  • ADAM STROUP
04/6/2020 8:37 AM

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.

4/6/2020 8:37 AMNo
  
Picture: ADAM STROUP
  • ADAM STROUP
03/17/2020 7:38 AM

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..

3/17/2020 7:38 AMNo
  
Picture: ADAM STROUP
  • ADAM STROUP
511/1/2019 9:24 AM

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!

NOV 1, 2019.  To start the new Community of Practice (CoP) for CM, it may be used to review Guiding Principles of a DAU Community.  Next, we will begin with the MOA used at DAU.  The MOA is intended to document and to facilitate a shared understanding of the role that a community of practice plays in DAU’s learning ecosystem and within the Department of Defense.

Community Name: Identify the name of the community (e.g., Category Management CoP).

Community Membership/Audience: Identify the audience that the community is targeting/trying to attract (e.g., DoD logistics workforce, industry partners working logistics, other individuals working related logistics areas).

What is the estimated size of the target membership/audience?
Community Purpose/Intent: Identify the purpose/intent of the community (e.g., what challenges or pain points are you trying to address? What value does the community bring to the membership?).

Community Objectives: List the community objectives (e.g., specific areas or issues that the community is interested in addressing).
Leading Indicators: Identify what short-term observations/measurements will be used as leading indicators in meeting your stated objectives. (Sample indicators: xx% of target audience is a member of the community, increase in engagement levels during first x months, customer satisfaction.)
Community Metrics: Identify the metrics that you will use to determine whether you are meeting your stated objectives. (Sample metrics: # of members, engagement levels, # of engagement activities, frequency of engagement activities, # of sessions/month, # returning users.)

Community Engagement Activities: Identify activities that you intend to employ to support community engagement. What is your intended battle rhythm? (Sample activities: Welcome emails to new members/as members join, Newsletters/weekly, Announcements/bi-weekly, Webinars/monthly, Recruitment/bi-monthly.)
Community Roles: Successful communities have critical roles that must be filled by dedicated individuals willing to devote time to the management of the community. Please identify the names and email addresses of the individuals who will be filling the key roles, as well as the estimated weekly time commitment in hours. Community roles are defined in more detail at the following link Community Roles and Responsibilities.

The team has the entire MOA if they desire to look ahead of these first 5 areas of the MOA.  ANS

SHERRY TAYLOR11/7/2019 5:34 PMNo
  
Picture: ADAM STROUP
  • ADAM STROUP
011/4/2019 6:20 PM

​On Oct. 31, 2019, a President Trump Executive Order revokes EO 13495 of Jan. 30, 2009, which gave Service Contract Act employees’ Right of First Refusal with a successor employer.

11/4/2019 6:20 PMNo
  
Picture: ADAM STROUP
  • ADAM STROUP
010/28/2019 9:32 AM

​There's a new poll available.  What are your plans for obtaining a services acquisition credential?  We would also like to hear what you think about credentials in general and the two new DAU credentials for services.  Feel free to reply to this post.

If you recall the old poll, "Have you participated in any DAU Workshops for Services Acquisitions?" here are the results.

WSM002 Risk Management WS - 0
WSM008 Developing performance Requirements for SA - 1
WSM009 SOW, SOO, PWS Workshop - 1
WSM012 SAW - 3
WSM014 Acq Strat WS - 0
Other - 1
Never participated in a WS - 4
Total = 10

Not a great sample size especially given DAU trains over 500 folks annually in SAWs (WSM012).  Hopefully this community and the service acquisition mall (SAM) are providing users easy access to the information needed.  But if you have a minute, log on and take the latest poll and let us know what you think.

10/28/2019 9:32 AMNo
  
Picture: ADAM STROUP
  • ADAM STROUP
210/7/2019 11:13 AM

​DAU is initially piloting four credentials focused on performance in the areas of Agile Methods, Digital Engineering, and Acquisition of Services.  For services, there are two credentials:  one for a non-acquisition professional team member and one for an acquisition career field member.  For more information and to view the guide, visit the DAU Credentials page and FAQs. [NOTE:  Click on the title to access links]

ADAM STROUP10/28/2019 9:20 AMNo
  
Picture: ADAM STROUP
  • ADAM STROUP
08/20/2019 6:49 AM

DoD SAFE is a new service (replacing AMRDEC SAFE) to make it easy for you to exchange unclassified files (including FOUO) up to 8.0 GB that can't be sent through email. Only unclassified data is permitted. There are two distinct kinds of users that will be accessing the DoD SAFE system: inside users, who are associated with the DoD and have a CAC (Common Access Card), and outside users, which encompasses the rest of the Internet. An inside (CAC authenticated) user is allowed to send a drop-off to anyone, whether they are an inside or outside user. An outside (unauthenticated) user is only allowed to send a drop-off after receiving a drop-off request from that user.  Read more under the "Help" button at the DoD SAFE page.  NOTE:  You may need to use Google Chrome for this service to work properly for you.   https://safe.apps.mil/

8/20/2019 6:49 AMNo
  
Picture: ADAM STROUP
  • ADAM STROUP
08/7/2019 8:17 AM
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) solicitation number CSOP-HQ-GS-00001 seeks artificial intelligence solutions to help contracting officers use CPARS, a key government database of Past Performance Information.  The 5 August 2019 solicitation posted on FedBizOpps seeks a tool that can identify relevant information from the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS) to help streamline the contracting process and reduce administrative burden. Contracting officers are required under law to evaluate past performance when making acquisition decisions.

If we could just create an AI tool to do the CPARS inputs, we would have a completely artificial CPARS. 


8/7/2019 8:17 AMNo
  
Picture: ADAM STROUP
  • ADAM STROUP
07/16/2019 9:01 AM

​FCW executive editor Adam Mazmanian reports the National Defense Authorization Act passed the House on 12 July 2019 with two amendments designed to promote greater joint oversight of the electronic health records modernization programs at the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. [NOTE:  follow the link above to FCW.  Click through the ad to see the article's content.] The amendments outline the authority to be delegated to a joint DOD-VA board being established to help oversee the projects and sets deadlines and milestones for achieving interoperability between DOD and VA systems.

DOD and VA both contracted to use software from Cerner [NASDAQ CERN, N Kansas City, MO] to remake their health records systems.  VA is replacing its homegrown Vista system through a $10 billion contract with Cerner.  DOD, under a $5.4 billion contract with Leidos and Cerner, is already rolling out the Cerner-based system called MHS Genesis, currently in multiple Pacific Northwest facilities.

MHS GENESIS, the new electronic health record for the Military Health System (MHS), provides enhanced, secure technology to manage  service members, veterans, and their families health information. MHS GENESIS integrates inpatient and outpatient solutions that will connect medical and dental information across the continuum of care, from point of injury to the military treatment facility.

7/16/2019 9:01 AMNo
  
Picture: JENNIFER ZEARLEY
  • JENNIFER ZEARLEY
17/11/2019 3:17 PM

What are some good metrics that I should use for services acquisitions?​

ADAM STROUP7/12/2019 8:36 AMNo
  
Picture: ADAM STROUP
  • ADAM STROUP
07/3/2019 8:25 AM

Development has begun starting with the fictional scenario (an IT Services Management Office) for this new classroom course. ACQ305 will help the PM or functional services manager (FSM) run an S-CAT I acquisition using the 7-Step process, services acquisition tools and best practices. It will also help experienced PMs to manage services vice weapons systems acquisitions. Look for ACQ305 student offerings next FY (MAR 2020)!

7/3/2019 8:25 AMNo
  
Picture: ADAM STROUP
  • ADAM STROUP
67/23/2018 7:37 AM

​Since 2014 the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has increased the price of background investigations by 40 percent while wait times have tripled. In January, the Government Accountability Office added the Government-wide Personnel Security Clearance Process to its list of high-risk government programs and questioned whether NBIB (see https://nbib.opm.gov/)  had an adequate plan to reduce the current backlog.  Under a 21 June 2018 White House reorganization plan, the NBIB could be absorbed into the DoD.  The Defense Security Service (DSS) is primed to take on responsibility for DoD personnel later this year and DSS is a logical DoD organization for the transfer of NBIB (yet to be approved by Congress).

ADAM STROUP6/13/2019 9:16 AMNo
  
Picture: ADAM STROUP
  • ADAM STROUP
23/27/2019 7:58 AM
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimates that about 26 percent of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) contracts and orders valued $5 million and above in fiscal year 2017 were competitively awarded using the lowest price technically acceptable (LPTA) process. DOD used the LPTA process to buy such things as equipment, fuel, information technology services and construction services.  Section 813 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, as amended, mandated that DOD revise its regulations to require that eight criteria be considered when using the LPTA process. As of September 2018, DOD had not yet done so. Accordingly, a DOD acquisition policy official stated that contracting officers are not yet required to consider these criteria. Nevertheless, GAO found that contracting officials generally considered five of the eight criteria for the 14 contracts and orders GAO reviewed (see GAO 19-54).  A DOD official stated that the updated regulations will reflect these eight criteria, including that justifications be documented. 

GAO recommends that DOD address, as regulations are updated, how contracting officials should apply two Section 813 criteria that were generally not considered. DOD concurred with the recommendations and plans to revise its regulations and issue additional guidance by the end of fiscal year 2019.


ADAM STROUP5/17/2019 1:50 PMNo
  
Picture: ADAM STROUP
  • ADAM STROUP
02/11/2019 3:43 PM

ACQ 256, Services Acquisition Management Tools deployed today, 11 Feb 2019.  This is a revised course based on ACQ255 that has been shortened to approximately 16 hours by moving the Cost Estimating module to CLM 006, Independent Government Cost Estimate for Services Acquisition.

Please be advised that you may still complete your current enrollment in the predecessor course (ACQ255) to satisfy training/certification requirements.  However, it's recommended that you take ACQ 256 as the content relies heavily on the Service Acquisition Mall which recently moved.  For ACQ 255, all required content must be completed prior to close of business on April 30, 2019. 

If ACQ 255 remains incomplete on your transcript, your enrollment will be dropped with an attrition code of "Z" for "Other."  You may register for the new ACQ 256 at your convenience.  You may access the content of the new course from DAU's training center.  Look for "Publically available course material."

To access the online learning environment, please login here:
https://dau.csod.com/

2/11/2019 3:43 PMNo
  
Picture: ADAM STROUP
  • ADAM STROUP
01/9/2019 4:02 PM

CLM 006 is a three hour on line training course to help services acquisition team members to understand, develop and review an IGCE. 

Cost estimates are necessary for many reasons:  to support decisions about funding one program over another, to develop annual budget requests, to evaluate resource requirements at key decision points, and to develop performance measurement baselines.  Do you need an Independent Government Cost Estimate?  An IGCE is required for every services acquisition in excess of the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT).  You’ll need that IGCE to help defend your requirement at the Services Requirements Review Board (SRRB).  Topics covered in CLM 006 include the current cost estimating and budgeting environment, cost estimating methods, the Acquisition Requirements Roadmap Tool—Cost Estimation (ARRT-CE), and an introduction to cost accounting.

The DoD Handbook for the Training and Development of the Services Acquisition Workforce recommends CLM 006 for the Functional Services Manager at Level I.  More information is available on ARRT-CE as well as the Independent Government Cost Estimate (IGCE) Handbook for Services Acquisition on the Service Acquisition Mall



1/9/2019 4:02 PMNo
  
Picture: ADAM STROUP
  • ADAM STROUP
211/29/2018 9:03 AM

​Annually GAO reports to Congress data concerning potest filings.  This is Summarized in the table at the botom of this post. (Note:  you can find the reports with a search of Bid Protests on the ACE for Services Community).

I find GAO's report of the most prevalent grounds for sustaining protests very useful.  Of the protests resolved on the merits during fiscal year 2018, GAO sustained 15 percent of those protests.

GAO found that the most prevalent reasons for sustaining protests during the 2018 fiscal year were: (1) unreasonable technical evaluation; (2) unreasonable cost or price evaluation; (3) flawed selection decision.

In FY17, GAO reported as most prevalent reasons for sustaining a protest as: (1) unreasonable technical evaluation; (2) unreasonable past performance evaluation; (3) unreasonable cost or price evaluation; (4) inadequate documentation of the record; and (5) flawed selection decision.

So, #1, 2 and 3 in FY 18 were #1, #3 and #5 in FY17.  Did we get better at documentation and past performance evaluations?  How can we get better at avoiding protests due to those recurring top reasons?

 GAO_Bid_Protest_Stats_FY14-18.JPG

ADAM STROUP12/4/2018 6:25 AMYes
  
Picture: ADAM STROUP
  • ADAM STROUP
28/6/2018 9:28 AM

​Section 843 of the FY18 National Defense Authorization Act requires a number of elements affecting the Non-Acquisition Workforce in Services Acquisitions.  One of the elements is what additional acquisition training is needed, what the positions are that need the training and what are the challenges in delivering this training.  What do you think?  What's your position and what acquisition training do you need?  What are your challenges in getting this training?

ADAM STROUP8/29/2018 5:11 PMYes
  
Picture Placeholder: BRETT WALTER
  • BRETT WALTER
16/6/2018 8:00 PM

​I'm looking for a template / example of a J&A to add the 52.217-8 clause to an already existing Task Order, which mistakenly forgot to include it in the award.  Both the 52.217-8 and 52.217-9 clauses were included in the Base IDIQ Contract but since my organization doesn't administer the IDIQ Contract my KO believes that a J&A needs to be completed in order to modify the Task Order and incorporate the 52.217-8 clause.  Any guidance, advice, or example templates that could be shared would be greatly appreciated. My contact information is below.

Brett Walter

brett.t.walter.civ@mail.mil

520-533-2629

ADAM STROUP6/13/2018 9:45 AMNo
  
Picture: ADAM STROUP
  • ADAM STROUP
01/29/2018 10:17 AM

GAO_High_Risk.JPGHigh Risk List. Every 2 years at the start of a new Congress, GAO calls attention to agencies and program areas that are high risk due to their vulnerabilities to fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement, or are most in need of transformation. The 2017 update identified 3 new High Risk areas and removed 1 area. An additional High Risk area was added in January 2018. The update is available at <https://www.gao.gov/highrisk/overview>.​

View the 2017 Report [Hint:  click on the title of this announcement to access the links.]

1/29/2018 10:17 AMNo
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AFFARS Library - Part 5337 Service Contracting
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