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Common Levels of Support (CLS)

What is it?
The CLS is the Army’s coordinated strategy for transforming installation services management by focusing on service delivery costs and performance. The CLS brings a corporate management discipline to installation management, an Army goal with the centralization of installation management in October 2002 under the Installation Management Command. Through CLS, the Army expects to achieve these objectives:

  • Standardized installation services: Installation customers receive the same type and level of service regardless of an installation’s location. (flexible for unique missions, geographic or demographic considerations).
  • Accountability for service delivery performance: Garrisons report service delivery performance quarterly and are held responsible for meeting performance targets.
  • Equitable distribution of available resources: Available resources distributed effectively across garrisons so each has adequate resources to deliver installation services to the expected standard.

The CLS has discrete and measurable Service Support Programs (SSPs) that define the elements of service and standard level of service to be delivered to installation customers. The SSPs can be delivered at multiple capability levels (i.e., standards) at an established cost for each capability level. The SSPs provide a commonly understood structure for both resource allocation and performance reporting, leading to better management of installation service delivery.

What has the Army done?
The Army has leveraged teams of installation stakeholders (including installation customers and tenants, service providers, and commanders) to establish a set of SSPs for 79 of the 98 defined installation support services. Each SSP represents a specific element of service and has these cost and performance descriptors associated with it:

  • Cost (relative to the overall service validated requirement).
  • Output and outcome performance measures.
  • Performance targets for each capability level standard (CL1, CL2, or CL3).

This SSP structure is prioritized in order of each SSP’s impact on achieving Army objectives, to determine necessary and affordable service levels to deliver for each service at all Army installations. Army resources received from the Army. Garrisons are now given definitive guidance to deliver specific services at specific service levels and are resourced adequately to hit assigned performance targets.

What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future?
The FY09 is the second of a two year transition of CLS to fully operational capability. During FY09, the Army will continue holding garrisons accountable for their performance by refining SSP cost and performance reporting procedures, and implementing efficiencies by consolidating reporting with the Installation Status Report data collection. Garrisons have been capturing their costs by SSP, and in FY09, they will refine their financial performance data based on the results of the first transition year. As high quality cost and performance data becomes available, garrisons will analyze this data to better manage their service delivery processes. Garrisons will reshape their workforces to align resources to deliver the directed standard service levels. Data will be analyzed to identify performance trends and discover best practices and efficiencies that can be promulgated across installations; overall service health will be monitored, and the service impact on achievement of Army strategic objectives will be assessed.

Additionally, the 21 remaining installation support services not yet structured in CLS with established SSPs and cost and performance targets will be analyzed for future development.

Why is this important to the Army?
The CLS helps the Army clearly understand how to make the most effective use of its available resources. Army senior leadership is able to make informed installation service support decisions based on capabilities and associated risk. The CLS enables the Army to demonstrate how it uses installation support resources efficiently and in accordance with Army priorities. This allows the Army to identify in detail how installation services are impacted by funding reductions and plan for contingencies as necessary.

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