Contracting authority expands to lower levels
May 8, 2014
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (May 8, 2014) -- The appointment of four new principal assistants responsible for contracting at Mission and Installation Contracting Command contracting support brigades and a field directorate office is establishing greater authority and decision-making at lower command levels.
During the last several years, MICC officials brought many of those contracting actions to the headquarters level.
"We are going to power down all those authorities that used to be at the headquarters level down to the brigades and FDO," said Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Gabbert, commanding general of the MICC. "With that comes this individual accountability. While we are going to accept risk as an Army by letting go of the controls, powering those authorities down calls for individual accountability."
In January, Heidi Shyu, assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology in her capacity as the senior procurement executive, appointed Gen. Dennis Via, Army Materiel Command commanding general, as head of the contracting activity for AMC. That decision led to the consolidation of HCAs to one within AMC and its subordinate units. The reason for this change, as articulated by Shyu, is that this restructuring will, "... improve performance, enable more effective customer support and strengthen oversight across the enterprise."
As the HCA, Via's scope of authority is to promote and require standardized contracting policies and procedures throughout AMC. One of Via's first acts as the HCA was to appoint four individuals to act on his behalf for delegable responsibilities of the HCA, except for those requiring general officer or senior executive service approval, for the MICC. Those responsibilities are described in the Federal Acquisition Regulation, the Defense FAR Supplement, the Army FAR Supplement, and other acquisition directives and regulations.
The four new PARCs for the MICC are: Col. Antonio Brown, 419th Contracting Support Brigade commander, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Col. Timothy Starostanko, 418th CSB commander, Fort Hood, Texas; Col. Timothy Strange, 412th CSB commander, Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas; and Tim Tweed, MICC Field Directorate Office-Fort Eustis director, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. Two deputies to these CSBs were also appointed to act as PARCs in the absence of their PARC. They are April Miller, the 412th CSB director at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, and Clay Cole, the 418th CSB director at Fort Hood. George Cabaniss Jr., deputy to the MICC commanding general at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, retains his authority as MICC headquarters PARC.
The PARC is the senior staff official for delegable contracting functions within the contracting activity. The PARC, once assigned, acts on HCA duties that are delegated.
The MICC commanding general issued the policy memorandum "Clearance Requirements for Acquisition Related Actions" on April 7, 2014, outlining responsibilities of PARCs for obtaining clearance from the commanding general or deputy to the commanding general on contracting actions valued higher than $100 million and those that require approval at the HCA level or higher, and which authorities will remain with the MICC headquarters PARC.
For these new PARCs, appointment is not just about awarding contracts any more, it is now about being the decision-making authority for a list of situations from contract closeouts to unauthorized commitments.
"The most pronounced effect of this decentralization of authority is that the decision-making and approval authority for most acquisition decisions are now vested in the CSB and FDO PARCs," said Albert Jacob, director of policy and compliance at the MICC headquarters. "The clearance process ensures that the MICC CG and DCG maintain oversight related to contract actions typically valued at $100 million or above. The MICC headquarters, CSB and FDO staff are still required to coordinate those actions that require approval of the HCA or higher."
Some authorities will remain at the headquarters level and not be delegated to the CSB and FDO level. Those are the overseeing and assessing of the contract management review program, establishing acquisition policy and standardizing procedures.
The MICC is responsible for providing contracting support for the warfighter at Army commands, installations and activities located throughout the continental United States and Puerto Rico. In fiscal 2013, the command executed more than 43,000 contract actions worth more than $5.3 billion across the Army. The command also managed more than 780,000 Government Purchase Card Program transactions in fiscal 2013 valued at an additional $880 million.