KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (April 23, 2020) – Soldiers from the Regional Contracting Office South-Afghanistan recently hosted a seminar to train contracting officer representatives on their roles and responsibilities as well as recognize top performers at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.
The COR seminar is one of the many initiatives that contracting offices in Afghanistan execute to facilitate adequate training for CORs and maintain sufficient contract oversight in support of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan missions.
Contracting officers deployed to Afghanistan cannot physically go to every contracting activity site and every forward operating base daily, weekly or even monthly; however, contract oversight is still required for reducing waste of taxpayers’ dollars and ensuring the government is receiving the supplies and services for which they paid.
CORs from across all train, advise and assist commands in Afghanistan provide contract oversight for theater support contracts.
Every month, each COR is required to submit a monthly status report and an audit checklist through the Procurement Integrated Enterprise Environment website for the contract or the performance work statement line for which they are responsible.
Quality assurance specialists and administrative contracting officers at RCOS-A have identified a pattern of errors committed by CORs that cannot be resolved by an email or a short training event. Therefore, administrative contracting officers and quality assurance specialists at Kandahar Airfield developed a training plan for all CORs in Southern Afghanistan to improve contract oversight.
“With the expansion of contract support, the role of the COR becomes more important,” said Lt. Col. Eric Brooks, 919th Contracting Battalion and Regional Contracting Center-Afghanistan commander. “CORs play a critical role in ensuring that contractors meet the commitment of their contracts. CORs are unsung heroes – most commanders never see what you do.”
The RCC-A commander recognized 11 CORs from across the Combined Joint Operations Area-Afghanistan for their performance and contract oversight.
The first training event focused on procurement fraud. Special agents Nathaniel Brown and Brian Healey led the procurement fraud training citing examples of personnel who committed procurement frauds. The training covered how prevalent fraud is in Afghanistan with statistical data, how to prevent fraud, and fraud and corruptions indicators.
The next training was on combating trafficking in persons led by Russell Gordy, a quality assurance specialist. His training included federal policies for CTIP and showcasing the following statutory elements including illegally holding passports, withholding pay, collecting recruitment fees and restricting movement of employees. CORs have a greater chance of catching a contractor with a CTIP violation than a contracting officer who does not have a chance to be in the field all the time. Jonathan Melendez, a quality assurance specialist, led the training for the quality assurance and surveillance plan. The purpose of his training was to show CORs how to properly fill out the COR checklist, identifying common errors and sharing best practices. Those in attendance actively participated in the discussion and shared their experiences and challenges with the audience.
Army Contracting Command-Afghanistan awards and administers hundreds of contracts each year including the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program contract task orders valued at $18 billion in support of thousands of U.S. and coalition forces deployed across Afghanistan.
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.
Mission and Installation Contracting Command
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