Contracting community in sprint to year end
September 17, 2012
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- A team of contracting experts here are helping ensure the smooth execution of billions of dollars in acquisitions as the frenzied pace at which most contracting offices operate has hastened to an all out sprint toward the end of the government's fiscal year Sept. 30.
Mission and Installation Contracting Command officials established the working group at the end of June to assist its field offices in the final two months of fiscal 2012 with procuring contracted services and equipment to meet its customers' mission needs.
"With the end of fiscal year rapidly approaching, (we've) stood up a war room to ensure a seamless end-of-year execution," said Pat Hogston, the director of MICC Strategic Operations. "Staff members working in the war room are working with customers closely to ensure all obligations are executed and no funds are lost."
The year-end war room brings together representatives from the MICC and Installation Management Command here as well as Army Contracting Command, Training and Doctrine Command, Forces Command and Army Reserve Command by teleconference on a weekly basis, explained Scott Kukes, the chief of contract support at the MICC who is leading the working group.
"Emphasis is placed on year-end contract awards, but we're also ensuring all obligations are properly matched and recorded against an appropriation in the General Fund Enterprise Business System," Kukes said.
Derek Dansby is a procurement analyst here for the MICC. He estimates that the command has executed more than 44,000 contract actions valued at more than $4.7 billion as of Sept. 1.
"While it may seem that we are behind this fiscal year, it is common for our offices to accomplish 25 percent of all actions and dollars in the last two months of the fiscal year," Dansby said. "If we follow this trend, and I expect we will, we anticipate issuing 15,000 contract actions worth just shy of $1.8 billion in the last 30 days of the fiscal year."
Although the MICC's primary mission is in support of the Army -- approximately 14 percent of all Army contract actions -- it also supports a variety of other customers through a range of acquisitions from everyday items such as office supplies to complex services and construction projects, Dansby said.
"To date, approximately 84 percent of all MICC contract actions have been in the services and construction arena, which contrasts 60 percent by the Army overall," he said.
Customers include 43 major commands across the Department of Defense to include the Air Force, Navy, Defense Logistics Agency, Defense Commissary Agency and Defense Finance and Accounting Service.
Reflecting such a customer base is the MICC-Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington. In addition to its installation office, it is responsible for overseeing contracting offices at Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Carson, Colo.; Fort Irwin, Calif.; Fort Wainwright, Alaska; and Fort Riley, Kansas. Its customers include many of the Army's major commands as well as DOD, Air Force and other federal agencies that equate to approximately 126,000 uniformed servicemembers, 40,000 DOD civilians and 180,000 family members. In addition, the MICC-Fort Irwin staff supports the Army's National Training Center that sees an average of 75,000 rotational Soldiers each year.
"We serve a diverse customer base but all are tied together by their common support of Army and Air Force warfighting units," said Pam Munoz, the senior field director at MICC-JBLM. "Contracting professionals, both military and civilian, that support this large and varied population work hard every day to ensure the customer's requirements are met."
Contracting support by the MICC-JBLM extends to one corps headquarters, four division headquarters, 12 heavy brigade combat teams, four Stryker brigade combat teams, two special forces groups, and one airlift wing among other combat, combat support and combat service support units.
In addition to the end-of-fiscal-year workload, Hogston said MICC contracting officers continue to execute 150 open solicitations, each valued at $10 million or more to ensure timely awards, while managing 12,000 active contracts.
"Additionally, the MICC staff is working extremely close with customers on reconciling expiring fiscal 2007 funds," Hogston added.
The MICC is responsible for providing contracting support for the warfighter at Army commands, installations and activities located throughout the continental United States, Alaska and Puerto Rico. In fiscal 2011, the command executed more than 63,000 contract actions worth almost $7 billion across the Army. In light of smaller budgets in fiscal 2012, MICC officials anticipate the command will end the year having executed more than $6.5 billion over 58,000 contract actions.