Shyu to ACC: 'Army leadership has your back'
April 18, 2013
Editor's note: Army Contracting Command public affairs had an opportunity to ask Heidi Shyu, the Army acquisition executive and assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, a few questions about Army contracting. She visited ACC and the Expeditionary Contracting Command headquarters at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., on April 4.
ACC: When you think about Army contracting, what is the first thing that comes to mind?
Shyu: The strength of our military and civilian workforce. When I receive a Contracting Enterprise Review, or I see the team during a visit to an installation, and especially when I was at the Joint Contracting Readiness Exercise, I meet and interact with amazing folks. It is great to see men and women, civilian and military working in partnership to provide commanders and their Soldiers what they need.
ACC: If there is anything, what would keep you up at night when thinking about Army contracting?
Shyu: Besides sequestration? The scope of the mission; it is tremendous. Now, I don't just mean the number of contracts that are awarded, that is big, but what is even more impressive is the way it is accomplished. The rules and regulations adjust continuously and there are important goals that must be met, like those with small businesses and important programs to support such as AbilityOne. In light of all the requirements, the men and women in Army contracting accomplish the mission. It is impressive. There is something else, deployed Soldiers and civilians in harm's way. I think about them often.
ACC: If you were advising a new contracting professional 1102 Army civilian, or 51C Soldier, someone with two to three years experience, what would you tell them?
Shyu: I would ask all of our civilians and Soldiers to improve their knowledge on fair and reasonable price determinations and cost and pricing fundamental principals ' whether working negotiated or simplified acquisition procedure contracts. We have faced challenges in this area: Mi-17 Department of Defense Inspector General) report on Should Cost, UH-60 drip pans, to name a couple. We can improve in this area and improvement will be long-lasting with our newer folks on board early.
ACC: Do you have a message for the workforce?
Shyu: I do. The Army appreciates what you do. From the secretary on down, key leaders are aware of your contribution to the Army. Yours is a tough mission. And it will get harder as we approach fiscal year end. I know, across the Army, 33 percent of our contracts are awarded in the fourth quarter. I also know that the chief of staff of the Army is personally involved in the prioritization of workload and the directive to accomplish 80 percent of (operations and maintenance) obligations by July 1. Normally, this occurs on July 31 and, to my knowledge, never has it had this level of support. The Army leadership has your back. We ask that you do everything you can to ensure that the Army gets the best product and services to our Soldiers. Thank you for all that you do.