Contracting officials hold international conference in South Korea
Roland Quitoriano, host nation program manager for DCMA International, speaks at a seminar April 13 during an international conference at the Koreana Hotel in Seoul.

SEOUL - Defense contracting officials from 14 nations gathered here in the South Korean capital April 11 - 13 to discuss best practices in government quality assurance.

Held at the Koreana Hotel in the heart of downtown Seoul, the conference brought together military and civilian officials from nations with whom the United States has international agreements for the exchange of Government Quality Assurance services and those nations who are interested in entering into an agreement with the United States.

The 2011 gathering, hosted by the U.S. Defense Contract Management Agency and the South Korea Defense Agency for Technology and Quality, marked the first time the conference was held outside of Europe.

Held almost every year since 1997, the first conference was in Wiesbaden, Germany.

"[The conference is] an opportunity to benchmark successes, share lessons learned and to develop joint strategies for the future," said Roland Quitoriano, host nation program manager for DCMA International. "It's not only what DCMA wants to share with the other nations, but it's also an opportunity for DCMA to learn from our partners."

Quitoriano said the conference enabled the quality assurance professionals to network and develop future strategies together.

"If we have an agreement with a nation, we can request that they perform quality assurance for us on our contracts in their country," said Quitoriano, "and we reciprocate by doing the same for their contracts in our country."

In addition to saving money, Quitoriano said the mutual GQA process benefits the U.S. and its allies by putting quality equipment into the hands of the warfighter.

"The opportunity for sharing has helped other nations to adopt other ideas or processes," said Quitoriano. "As we globally standardize our approach into a truly mutual GQA process, we will provide our customers and each other that confidence to know our products will work at the right time, every time."

Another conference participant, Zvi Margalit, said the conference had allowed him to meet people he had only talked with on the phone before.

"It is very good to meet the people that we are talking with," said Margalit, deputy quality assurance minister for the Israeli Ministry of Defense. "This meeting is very good and useful."

U.S. Air Force Maj. Lateef Hynson, commander of DCMA Korea, said the conference had fostered greater partnership and engagement among the U.S. and its allies.

DCMA Korea provides quality assurance on the performance of U.S. contracts for U.S. forces in South Korea and around the globe. DCMA Korea partners with South Korea's Defense Agency for Technology and Quality, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

"This is the first time this is in Asia and it allows everyone the opportunity to see Korea," said Hynson.

Choi Seong-gyun, the Daegu Center team chief for South Korea's Defense Agency for Technology and Quality, said he was honored to introduce the conference participants to Korea.

"We want to show Korea to other nations," said Choi, calling the conference "a good opportunity for us to understand the government assurance system of each country."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16