ACC experts make 'great strides' in government property accountability
January 25, 2013
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala.--A group of subject matter experts who gathered here Jan. 7-18 made "great strides" in mapping the accountability of government property in the hands of contractors, according to one of Army Contracting Command's subject matter experts.
Known as the Contract Government Property Continuous Process Improvement Integrated Project Team, the group's goal is to develop a system in which ACC has standardized government property accountability processes, checklists, procedures and training, according to Sherri Mattern, government contract property subject matter expert, ACC Operations Group.
"I feel like the past two weeks was a huge success," she said. "We realized that this is not a small tasking that we are undertaking, but our goal of having standardized, transparent processes with auditable internal controls is long overdue. The entire contract government property community wants us to succeed. We have assembled a group of functional experts that are passionate about our goal to establish a best in class ACC Government Property Program. We know that this is going to take a lot of work, but this IPT is up for the task."
George Holland, Contract Administration Division chief, ACC Operations Group, agreed.
"We are very pleased with the initial IPT efforts," he said. "This is a commandwide IPT initiated to ensure all perspectives of the command are considered to create a best in class contract government property administration program across ACC. We are now working on getting representation from each of the major subordinate organizations to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to provide input to the process flows and procedures."
Mattern said the group met its initial goal of starting the development of auditable internal controls to include process flows, procedures and checklists for each of the government property roles and responsibilities.
"Writing process flows, procedures and checklists sounds easy until you are faced with starting the process yourself," she said. "We have to tie our processes in with the other stakeholder processes.
"This is not the time for tunnel vision," she added. "We cannot just be concerned with the (career field) 1103 Property Administrator responsibilities. We also have to include the aspects of all environments to include the contingency environment. This IPT now understands that we are not only looking at the property administrator role, but all the roles in the overall property administration process. This understanding is a very significant accomplishment."
Mattern said there are obstacles, including the potential for resistance to change.
"Even though some of these requirements have always been there, they have not always been properly accomplished," she said. "So, they may be viewed as a 'change'."
Getting buy-in from all stakeholders is crucial to the success of what the IPT is attempting to accomplish, she added. "We just have to effectively communicate that our processes will add value by alleviating issues with government property that tend to arise during acquisition process."
The IPT will continue to meet monthly via teleconference beginning Jan. 23, and will include members of the ACC Government Property Community of Practice.