By Ms. Liz Adrian (Army Contracting Command)May 28, 2014
ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- The Enhanced Army Global Logistics Enterprise Program was a hot topic around the Quad Cities May 6-8, as business leaders nationwide gathered to attend the National Defense Industrial Association's Midwest Small Business Government Contracting Symposium.
The EAGLE Program is a unique contracting tool that the government uses to award task orders to a pool of qualified Basic Ordering Agreement holder companies for supply, maintenance, and transportation functions. According to the EAGLE contracting office, the program is intended to find efficiencies and standardize contracting processes in order to save the government money, increase competition, and expand the role of small business.
Prior to the symposium, Army Contracting Command-Rock Island and Army Sustainment Command's EAGLE Program Management office held a meeting on May 6 at Rock Island Arsenal for more than 70 EAGLE BOA holders.
During the meeting, Melanie A. Johnson, ACC-RI executive director, D. Scott Welker, ASC deputy to the commander, and Kathryn T.H. Szymanski, chief counsel for ASC and the Joint Munitions Command, each provided introductory presentations. ACC-RI contracting professionals and staff from the ASC EAGLE program office then provided updates, explained workload data, and answered BOA holders' questions.
Johnson and Welker were joined May 7 by Joseph Schulz, deputy director, ASC Installation Logistics Division, at the symposium to share EAGLE updates with all businesses.
Johnson said that there have been some execution challenges, resulting in a task order award life cycle averaging 158 business days. This longer-than-expected life cycle is attributed to a few unanticipated factors.
Although ASC is a logistics organization, ASC had not handled logistics at logistics readiness centers (formerly known as Directorates of Logistics) prior to 2010, when ASC was assigned the EAGLE mission. Welker said not having experience supporting logistics functions at LRCs created a learning curve for ASC and ACC-RI.
Additionally, on every single request for proposal -- including outside continental United States, -- the contracting office has received proposals numbering in the double digits. Johnson said this has helped the office "check that huge mark for competition," but it has also slowed evaluations.
There are ways in which BOA holders can help the government expedite the process, said Johnson.
"When you have questions at the draft RFP stage and if there is a draft performance work statement and you have issues, get those questions in as soon as possible so that we can act on them and make sure they are incorporated into the final RFP, so we're not losing time," said Johnson.
Additionally, contractors can help by using the standardized workload data forms provided by ACC-RI when developing proposals, said Johnson. Using these standardized forms as a guide helps contractors know what information needs to be included in their proposals, and it also makes it easier for the government to evaluate the proposals.
"Based on all of this, we anticipate that, going through due process, we could reduce our acquisition lead time from 158 days to approximately 34," said Johnson.
Johnson said it is important for current and future BOA holders to stay informed and up-to-date on the EAGLE program. She suggested contractors periodically visit the EAGLE website (http://www.acc.army.mil/contractingcenters/acc_ri/eagle/index.html) and send in questions to the contracting office's email.
"This is a team sport," said Johnson. "It includes the government and contractors. As we go through this process, we want transparency, and we want to share how we are proceeding, but we do have to do what is in the best interest of the Army and the government."