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Expeditionary Contracting

What is it?
The term “expeditionary contracting” describes the concept for providing support across the full spectrum of contract and contract support operations, and executes these missions in non-standard environments. ‘Expeditionary or contingency contracting’ is new and reflects the unique contracting challenges the Army now faces. Of note, in FY08 the Army’s contracting activities executed contracts worth $144 Billion.

What has the Army done?
The Gansler Commission prepared a comprehensive report, Urgent Reform Required: Army Expeditionary Contracting, issued on October 31, 2007 that noted that key failures have encumbered the performance of the Army’s contracting system. The Gansler Commission examined business processes as they relate to expeditionary contracting operations. A comprehensive progress review was provided to the Secretary of the Army and the Gansler Commission on January 23, 2008, with subsequent reviews presented by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and the Army on May 8, August 28, and October 31, 2008. In March of 2008, the Army established the U.S. Army Contracting Command (ACC) as a way to address its contracting challenges and as a way to quickly implement the Gansler Commission’s recommendations. The ACC has two subordinate commands: the Expeditionary Contracting Command and the Mission and Installation Contracting Command.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army has responded effectively and quickly to the commission’s findings and recommendations. Of the 22 Army-specific recommendations, 21 are complete as of the date of this report. The remaining recommendation, increasing the contracting workforce by 400 military and 1,000 civilians, is a complex undertaking that requires significant time for approvals and subsequent hiring and training of new personnel. The Army has developed a roadmap for institutionalizing and sustaining the transformation of Army contracting. Additional resources and continued leadership will be required over time to complete this process. Sustainment over the long term will be driven by Annex N (Contracting) to the Army Campaign Plan. Through direction and guidance to the field, Annex N will be the conduit for continuous examination and improvement throughout the manage Army contracted support are fully addressed and sustained over time.

Why is this important to the Army?
The Army is more dependent on contracted support than at any other time in our history. The standard contracting process is not designed to award contracts for immediate needs in high operational tempo, combat environments. Expediting contract awards is critical in an era of persistent conflict because the needs of the operational commander are often immediate. Commanders, staffs and other non-contracting professionals throughout our Army are key to contracting success. Equally important is effective contract administration after contract award. Our Army’s success depends on strong leadership executing sound business practices.

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