JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Nov. 26, 2019) -- The innovative approach for awarding a contract in support of approximately 6,800 facilities geographically displaced in three states over more than 1 million acres for Fort Bliss, Texas, earned a team led by the Mission and Installation Contracting Command top acquisition honors.

The integrated process team, made up of members from the MICC, Installation Management Command and Fort Bliss Directorate of Public Works, was named the fiscal 2019 Secretary of the Army Awards for Excellence in Contracting winner in the innovation in contracting strategies category. The award, one of four by MICC teams and individuals, was announced by the deputy assistant secretary of the Army for procurement in a message to the workforce Nov. 18. The team was responsible for executing an innovative pilot program culminating in the competitive award of a $300 million Fort Bliss facility support operations services contract to a nonprofit agency on the AbilityOne Procurement List. The federal procurement list identifies supplies and services required to be purchased from AbilityOne and its participating nonprofit agencies.

The MICC, IMCOM and AbilityOne Commission agreed on an innovative approach that incorporated Army personnel into Source America's opportunity notice and capability evaluation process for selecting the NPA to execute the requirement. Typically, SA's evaluative process for selecting the NPA relies upon their internal evaluation criteria and price is not evaluated until the NPA has been selected. The innovative approach incorporated Army evaluation criteria and personnel into SA's process and it permitted prices to be competitively submitted upfront in the process, resulting in true price competition. Additionally, the team leveraged an existing Army system to conduct all evaluations virtually.

Pat Hogston, the director of contracting operations for the MICC at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, led the team. He explained that the pilot program came at the direction of the secretary of defense as a result of a 2017 National Defense Authorization Act requirement to establish a panel to provide oversight, accountability and integrity in the AbilityOne contracting process.

"As the largest Army installation, Fort Bliss facility support operations services represent a challenging acquisition under any circumstance," Hogston said. "We knew if the pilot was successful for such a large, complex requirement then the process would work for any services on the Procurement List. Despite being geographically displaced, the forward-thinking team comprised of key stakeholders used electronic means to meet virtually several times per week to develop every aspect of the requirement including the performance work statement, risk assessment, evaluation criteria, source selection approach and the solicitation."

Wiley Cox, a MICC procurement analyst on the team, explained that group members leveraged the Army's Virtual Contracting Enterprise procurement system and its web-based acquisition source selection interactive support tool to conduct the first ever competitive evaluation of an AbilityOne requirement on the platform.

"With this tool, the team seamlessly completed evaluations, reached consensus agreement among evaluators and created a report to document the results of the facility support operations services competition," Cox said.

Also on the team were MICC cost and price analysts Raul Guerra and Monica Chisolm, and Gary Shaw, deputy chief counsel, from JBSA-Fort Sam Houston. David Reynolds, contracting officer, and Shawn Poyser, contract specialist, both from MICC-Fort Riley, Kansas, also contributed their facilities contracting expertise to the team. Rounding out the integrated team were Manuel Amaro, the chief of the sustainment and services contract management branch, and general engineer Jose Ruiz, both from Fort Bliss, as well as Lt. Col. Marlin Paschal, a legal adviser with the IMCOM at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston.

Results achieved by the team included award of the requirement in 120 calendar days and more than 20% savings from the previous contract price. Cox added the approach also allows the government to employ pre-priced, scalable line items within fixed-price bands to issue installation maintenance task orders at varying levels of service based on need and available funding.

"Collectively, these steps and outside-the-box thinking advanced the strategic vision outlined in the fiscal 2017 NDAA and panel report on DOD and AbilityOne contracting oversight," Hogston said.

Cox said that while the MICC, IMCOM and Fort Bliss Directorate of Public Works members on the team greatly enhanced the Army mission with this achievement, the larger DOD and federal contracting communities are certain to experience these lasting contributions through revised policy for years to come.

Army awards for excellence recognize acquisition workforce members committed to customer satisfaction, productivity, process improvement, innovation and quality enhancement. They consist of team award, special award and contracting award categories. All award winners will be recognized during a Dec. 11 ceremony hosted by the Honorable Dr. Bruce Jette, assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, in Arlington, Virginia.

Editor's note:
This is the second in a series of articles highlighting the four Mission and Installation Contracting Command individuals and teams recognized as winners for the fiscal 2019 Secretary of the Army Awards for Excellence in Contract.

About the MICC:
Headquartered at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the Mission and Installation Contracting Command consists of about 1,500 military and civilian members who are responsible for contracting goods and services in support of Soldiers as well as readying trained contracting units for the operating force and contingency environment when called upon. MICC contracts are vital in feeding more than 200,000 Soldiers every day, providing many daily base operations support services at installations, facilitate training in the preparation of more than 100,000 conventional force members annually, training more than 500,000 students each year, and maintaining more than 14.4 million acres of land and 170,000 structures.