EAGLE pre-award teams help program soar

By Liz GlennMarch 25, 2022

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Illinois – A year after a realignment in the Army Contracting Command-Rock Island’s (ACC-RI’s) Enhanced Amy Global Logistics Enterprise (EAGLE) Contracting Branches, the resulting benefits to ACC-RI, the customer and industry are clear.

The EAGLE Program supports Army Sustainment Command’s (ASC’s) mission to provide maintenance, supply, and transportation support services to 93 Logistics Readiness Centers/Army Field Support Battalions worldwide. The EAGLE acquisition strategy provides increased competition through the use of Basic Ordering Agreements (BOAs); increased opportunities for small businesses; standardization of acquisition and requirements packages; standardization of contract award and administration. Industry members submit a proposal in order to obtain an EAGLE BOA, which then allows them to compete on individual EAGLE best value task order competitions. Resultant task orders award ASC’s maintenance, supply, and transportation service requirements to a single logistics provider at a location.

In the second and third quarters of FY21, ACC-RI EAGLE branch chiefs created two pre-award contracting teams, removing the pre-award functions from the seven other EAGLE teams, enabling those teams to focus on providing better customer support with administrative actions on current EAGLE contracts.

The two teams are led by two contracting officers – James Doran and Chase Holliday – and are comprised of eight contract specialists. According to Doran, the teams are currently in the process of executing $2.8 billion worth of competitive actions via 13 open competitions. In the year since the pre-award team structure was implemented, the teams have awarded $491 million worth of actions.

Doran, who has worked in EAGLE contracting since 2012, said the purpose of setting up the pre-award team structure was to streamline pre-award efforts, find best practices, reduce the procurement acquisition lead-time and provide better customer service.

“From my perspective, we are able to provide ASC and all of its individual sites with consistent acquisition processes,” said Doran. “It has improved the quality and efficiency in every step of the process from the requirements development through issuance of the solicitation, engagement with industry partners, and evaluation of proposals, awards, and start of work efforts.”

Doran said the teams will potentially reduce bridging actions and reduce other types of contract extensions, thus saving the Army money. Additionally, removing the pre-award function frees up EAGLE’s other contracting teams to focus on contract administration duties.

An added benefit has been a significant amount of gained efficiencies in the evaluation process, as the pre-award teams have visibility into all the competitions at the same time.

“In some instances, we’ve been able to shorten the time it takes to perform past performance evaluations by 75-80% while maintaining high quality and thoroughness in the evaluation process,” said Doran.

Since the EAGLE program’s inception, it has been focused on performance-based contract negotiations in the solicitation process and Doran said that over the past year under the pre-award team structure, it is morphing into an even more performance-based process by allowing industry to provide unique staffing solutions.

“This pre-award teams approach has taken what was an ad hoc approach where multiple teams engaged ASC at different times on different subjects for individual competitions and consolidated that into a combination of our teams and ASC,” said Doran. “Having the stakeholders there and focused on all the competitions at one time helps us see what’s going on with one competition and how it might affect another.”

Doran said this has helped significantly in planning, execution, and generating best practices because there was a consolidated focus between the teams and senior leaders at ASC and ACC-RI.

Holliday, who was assigned to the EAGLE branch last year after working in the center’s Information Technology Directorate, said the collaboration between ASC and ACC-RI has been a new experience.

“It’s great to have that partnership between ASC and ACC-RI to support the customer in any way that we can,” said Holliday.

The structure has also allowed the teams and ASC to share lessons learned and better develop long range strategic acquisition approaches, schedules, and goals and ultimately more solid Requests for Proposal to industry. It has also enhanced communication and collaboration between the pre-award teams and the EAGLE contracting post-award teams working on contract administration, as the teams continuously share lessons learned and best practices regarding requirements, contract administration issues affecting competitions, and schedules.

“This communication is vital so that they can better prepare for their current actions and be able to get ahead of potential setbacks for their current contracts,” said Holliday. “We are in constant communication with those other contracting officers to make sure that they are kept abreast of what is happening with our pre-award actions, so it’s a full team effort.”

The EAGLE pre-award team concept was the first for ACC-RI. The teams’ results have demonstrated success for the EAGLE program and its stakeholders.