REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala.-Army Materiel Command now has a single head of the contracting activity.

Heidi Shyu, assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, appointed Gen. Dennis L. Via, AMC commanding general, as the HCA for AMC.

Via's appointment eliminates individual HCA authority within AMC's four life cycle management commands, Army Contracting Command, Expeditionary Contracting Command, Mission and Installation Contracting Command, the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command and the U.S. Army Sustainment Command.

"A single HCA brings all AMC contracting activity under one umbrella," explained Jason Detko, chief, Contracting Policy and HCA Support Division, ACC Operations Group. "We are now able to truly standardize processes, look for like buys, and address gaps."

Detko led the integrated process team that spent two and a half years mapping the "as-is" process and developing several courses of action for the "to-be" recommendation. He said the study led to the single HCA solution for AMC.

Under the former construct, each of the former HCAs could establish its own contracting processes and procedures as long as they were allowable under the Federal Acquisition Regulation and its Department of Defense and Army supplements, Detko explained. He said ACC as a command was able to generate some synergy across the contracting activity, but could not establish common practices across the contracting offices and centers.

"With the single HCA, we can push standardization across our command," he continued. "We can have standardized forms, standardized processes across the contracting enterprise."

He said it also affects contractors doing business with AMC.

"They can expect to see more standardized processes and standardized lead times," he said.

One of the first actions for Via was the appointment of principal assistants responsible for contracting.

Detko said that changes to the Army Federal Acquisition Regulations allowing some HCA duties to be delegated to PARCs will also streamline the contracting process. Under the new construct, Detko expects less than 20 actions to rise to the level requiring HCA involvement. He said the commitment for staffing those packages needing HCA approval is to turn them in no more than five business days.

"We'll be relying heavily on the PARCs to ensure the package is complete and had appropriate reviews," Detko said.

He said one concern about the single HCA construct was that HCA decision packages would be bogged down in the typical staffing process at a four-star headquarters. To mitigate this, ASA(ALT) allowed several HCA authorities to be delegated to PARC level. He also said AMC has implemented a significantly streamlined HCA review process. Once an HCA decision package reaches AMC, only a few people touch it-the ACC commanding general, supported by his policy and legal staffs, and the AMC command counsel. Upon concurrence to proceed, the ACC commanding general and AMC command counsel will meet with the HCA to review the package and get a decision.