By Betsy Kozak-Howard, ACC-Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.November 13, 2013
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - The Army Contracting Command-Aberdeen Proving Ground executive director provided insight and kudos to the workforce during a Nov. 4 town hall meeting here.
Bryon J. Young, ACC-APG executive director, reviewed the previous fiscal year's accomplishments and provided a focus on future initiatives to an audience of more than 700 military and civilian employees in person and on video teleconference calls. During fiscal year 2013, ACC-APG awarded 36,141 contracting actions totaling $13.6 billion in obligations.
"Among other notable metrics, the enterprise managed 9,318 active contracts, closed out 21,017 contracts and personnel attended 372 Defense Acquisition University resident courses," Young said. "Now that we've closed the books on FY13 and have begun a new fiscal year, I'd like to provide an overview of specific areas of focus that you should be especially mindful of as the year progresses."
Young identified six major focus areas for FY14 and defined expectations within each area. The areas are: ensuring data integrity, reinforcing Virtual Contracting Enterprise compliance, refining self assessments, more fully implementing Better Buying Power initiatives, strengthening contractor debriefings, and improving post award/contractor performance management. He also talked about the positive feedback he received from industry members on the quality of debriefings for the Systems and Software Engineering Support Next Generation contract award.
"An effective debriefing provides assurance to contractors that proposals are properly evaluated," Young said. "Meaningful feedback to offerors assists with future proposal submissions and may also deter potential protests by demonstrating sound decision making."
Kathleen Hageman, branch chief, Aberdeen Division E, likes the town hall format because she gets the information directly from the top.
"Mr. Young thoroughly explained his philosophy and with this information I can ensure that I'm in alignment. It was especially rewarding when Mr. Young gave our team kudos for our contractor debriefings," she said.
According to Hageman, the main person credited with the debriefing success is Suanne Coonrad, supervisory contract specialist.
"We had several contractors tell us that our debriefings are the best they've ever had," said Coonrad, a 20-year veteran contracting officer. "When I debrief, I'm extremely detailed providing page and paragraph numbers as well as examples of the type of information the government was looking for. This is beneficial to any contractor, but especially to small businesses. I also take the time to share current trends in contracting.
"My debriefs are comprehensive and I provide as much information as I possibly can to assist contractors with future endeavors and provide assurance that the selection was done fairly. As a result, I've never had a protest, and small businesses have been successful in receiving awards in future competitions."
The town hall ended with a question and answer session and closing remarks by Young. "We have an outstanding organization and I ask all of you to continue in your commitment to ensuring we meet the needs of our Soldiers," Young said.