Activation of new unit improves emphasis on contracting oversight
October 15, 2012
10/12/2012 CASERMA EDERLE, Italy- On Oct. 12, the 414th Contracting Support Brigade was activated as part of the Army's continued initiatives to support every Army Service Component Command with a Contracting Support Brigade. 414th CSB Commander Col. Paul Pardew has spent the last year building his organization in order to support US Army Africa and its operations on the African continent.
"We've spent a lot of time hiring the right people (Department of Army Civilians, US Army Soldiers and Italian host nation employees) with contracting skill sets that we thought were going to be pertinent to the mission not only in Africa, but also on the garrison side," said Pardew. "USAG Vicenza and Camp Darby are also our customers and represent three-fourths of our FY 12 contract spend for services, supplies and minor construction."
In the past year, the 414th CSB obligated over $62 million and executed 1,000 contract actions.
"The 414th CSB develops contract support integration plans, executes theater contracts, coordinates external support from CONUS and manages contract oversight and quality assurance for deployed forces," said Brig. Gen. Theodore Harrison, Expeditionary Contracting Command, commanding general. "I look forward to watching with pride and admiration as the 414th CSB Soldiers and civilians take their place within the ECC and in support of the Army Africa Team as a fully operational Contracting Support Brigade."
The new unit motto Ethica Et Censura focuses on ethics and oversight which according to Pardew are critical in the contracting field.
"Quite simply, we are spending US taxpayer dollars and the two things you want in government contracting are a lot of ethics and oversight to make sure that we are actually getting what we paid for under the contract," explained Pardew.
As part of a concentration on oversight, the 414th CSB has increased the training and the number of contracting officer representatives (COR) that they use to manage contracts. These CORs are critical to the oversight of our contracts and ensure USARAF and USAG Vicenza receive the services and supplies required by the contract.
"Recently during Southern Accord 12 in Botswana, we executed several million dollars in support contracts and trained contracting officer's representatives from USARAF and CONUS based units. These CORs were the primary means of providing oversight of contract execution. 414th CSB Soldiers also deployed to Botswana to execute additional emerging contracting requirements and assisted the CORs with contractual issues. Southern Accord was a huge success for the 414th CSB and validated our emphasis on contracting training and oversight ," said Pardew.
The 414th CSB even ensured their unit crest articulated not just what they do in Africa, but also what they do here in Italy whilst showing some lineage about what contracting has done prior to their activation.
"We wanted our unit crest to represent both our Italy and Africa missions. We did this by using colors common to both and the Lion of St. Mark to represent strength and Venetian Mercantilism," said Pardew.
With the flag symbolically unfurled and the unit officially activated, Pardew said 414th CSB will next concentrate on developing their tactics, techniques and procedures in order to support USARAF and USAG Vicenza.