Original Date: 11/12/2001
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Contractor Self-Oversight Program
The Contractor Self-Oversight Program grew out of a pilot program, implemented by the Defense Contract Management Command, which authorizes Frontier Electronic Systems to perform its own contractor surveillance. The company had demonstrated itself as a low-risk contractor by having an impeccable on-time delivery of quality products to the government.
The Defense Contract Management Command’s (DCMC’s) charter requires the surveillance of contractors to ensure they are producing quality products and services; aggressively utilizing process controls; employing continuous improvement initiatives; and satisfying their customers. Compliance with the charter requires DCMC and the contractor to participate in production process risk assessments, whereby they focus on highest programmatic risk, prioritization of problems, corrective actions, and audits. This interaction is an all-consuming event of time and resources for the contractor as well as for an already short-handed staff at DCMC. In 1999, DCMC began exploring the idea of a contractor self-oversight pilot program that would shift many of the surveillance duties of the local DCMC representative to Frontier Electronic Systems (FES).
The pilot program idea was based on FES’ demonstration of an impeccable on-time delivery of quality products to the government, which constituted that the company was a low-risk contractor and should not be subjected to the same oversight and intervention as high-risk contractors. In July 1999, DCMC and FES signed a Memorandum of Understanding to implement this first-of-a-kind pilot program. The program empowered FES to perform its own delivery surveillance, whereby the company formally provided a detailed 60-day schedule look-ahead, complete with shipping quantities and dates, potential delays, root causes, and corrective actions. All information was reported via e-mail on a weekly basis or immediately, if an issue arose. DCMC was kept informed of schedules and problems, provided assistance when necessary to avoid delays, and issued formal reports on FES’ performance. The pilot program was successfully completed in October 2000 with no significant issues or degradation on quality of products delivered. The program now continues, and is viewed by DCMC as a model for FES’ Contractor Self-Oversight Program.
The Contractor Self-Oversight Program greatly reduces the number of reports previously required by DCMC, thereby eliminating multiple quality systems and reducing time spent to satisfy the local DCMC representative. In addition, the DCMC representative no longer resides at FES, but merely visits once a week to sign-off on deliveries. The Contractor Self-Oversight Program is enabling FES to reduce customer costs, and DCMC to direct its workforce to high-risk contractors.
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