Original Date: 04/06/1998
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Acquisition Reform
Over the last several years, the Department of Defense (DoD), and the Federal Government in general, have undergone a major transformation in the way it contracts for supplies and services. Acquisition reform was initiated with the Reinvention of Government efforts spearheaded by Vice President Al Gore, and flowed down through the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act. The reform required extensive changes to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and DoD and Army procurement guidance. These changes are all intended to simplify the way government does business, and to make the contracting process more like that used by private industry. Changes in contracting in the name of acquisition reform will continue for the foreseeable future.
The Anniston Army Depot (ANAD) developed an aggressive and varied program to take maximum advantage of the reforms allowed by the regulatory changes, and to proactively implement changes to the contracting process to realize the benefits desired through Reinvention of Government guidance. Within the Army depot system, ANAD has been at the forefront in both implementing changes and in requesting waivers to existing requirements which were impediments to additional improvements. Local initiatives related to acquisition reform include the following:
Best Value Acquisition procedures have been developed and used for effective and economical acquisition of supplies and services with competitive awards based on factors other than price. Waivers were requested from the parent Command and accepted to further streamline the solicitation process. As a result, all FY1999 major competitive negotiated procurement include tradeoff provisions rather than being awarded solely on lowest price.
In FY1999, all competitive negotiated buys over $100,000 include past performance factors being more important than price in making an award.
Changes in procurement regulations allow the purchase of commercial supplies and services by using a simplified process that eliminates many unnecessary government-specific requirements; 78% of ANAD’s purchases over $100,000, excluding construction, have been made using commercial acquisition procedures in FY1997 and FY1998 with no sustainable protests.
An aggressive program for purchasing with credit cards has been implemented. The Army’s goal of 90% of all purchase actions under $2,500 has been exceeded. A local initiative with frequently used vendors has been started to allow use of the credit cards up to $25,000.
Electronic data interchange is used for all buys under $100,000, unless waivers are documented justifying not using this method to solicit vendors.
ANAD has been very aggressive and effective in implementing acquisition reform and is continuing to look for additional ways to streamline the purchasing process. Some of the plans and ongoing efforts include emphasizing the use of performance specifications instead of detailed or military specifications, and taking advantage of the recent FAR part 15 rewrite allowing more flexibility in negotiation and oral proposal presentations by vendors. ANAD is also planning greater use of a team approach, including all involved functions, to develop the requirements and solicitations for future procurement.
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