European Contracting Coordination Board focuses on challenges, cooperation
December 12, 2013
WIESBADEN, Germany -- Acquisition planning, sequestration impacts and sharing resources were some of the topics discussed here during the European Contracting Coordination Board Nov.19.
Acquisition and logistics leaders across Europe met to address current and future challenges faced within the European contracting community.
"This meeting was different from those in the past as it was the first joint services meeting we have conducted," said Col. William Bailey, 409th Contracting Support Brigade commander, Kaiserslaurten, Germany.
The meeting included representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Medical Command Contracting, the 405th Army Field Support Brigade the U.S. Air Force's Installation Contracting Agency, the Defense Logistics Agency, the Defense Contracting Management Agency, the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe, the U.S. Special Operations Command Europe and other agencies and directorates from across the European theater.
"It's always good to get the financial management, contracting and requiring activities together," said Col. Andrew McConachie, U.S. Army Europe assistant deputy chief of staff, Comptroller.
The ECCB addressed common concerns within the contracting community, one of which is the management of contracting officer representatives.
Karl Fischer, quality assurance specialist, 409th CSB, presented the group with initiatives from the 409th that track and report the performance of individual CORs to their commanders. This reporting gives commanders the ability to use quantitative data to improve COR performance.
"I think we do a good job at tracking our COR training, but I think we could definitely partner on the COR program that has been presented here," said Col. Mario Troncoso, director, Operating Location Europe, Air Force Installation Contracting Agency.
Another shared concern amongst the ECCB members was the increased pressure on U.S. European Command resources.
"As OCONUS draws down and we lose staff capacity, we have to maintain our capabilities because our missions are not being reduced," said Peter Lichtenberger, USAREUR, assistant deputy chief of staff, Logistics.
"We need to look as a community to more effectively assist requiring activities with managing contractor performance," said Col. Joseph Ladner, commander, Defense Logistics Agency Europe and Africa.
Participants at the ECCB agreed that there is a need to coordinate initiatives.
The board's goals and objectives are to "synchronize contracting support and leverage the expertise found in all of our organizations in order to reduce the duplication of effort," Baily explained.
"Ultimately, this will lead to more efficient uses of our resources."
Daniel Shearer, 409th CSB, contracting support operations director and event moderator, said "this was the second ECCB hosted by the 409th. With the USAF stepping up for the next ECCB we are seeing an increased desire and capacity to work across organizational boundaries for a common cause, which is what the ECCB is all about."