By Mr. Paul J Stevenson (USASAC)March 27, 2013
The U.S. Army Security Assistance Command co-leads the Army Security Assistance Enterprise, which is comprised of nearly 50 organizations, and oversees Security Assistance programs and the FMS process from start to finish.
The execution of Security Assistance programs and FMS cases requires the direct involvement of individuals across many different organizations. In coordinating the many actions that take place throughout the case lifecycle in areas such as contracting, acquisition, finance, logistics and training support, it is critical that these separate organizations work closely in order to effectively execute and manage FMS cases.
An example of those coordinating efforts was displayed recently for the Commander of one of USASAC's ASAE partners, Army Contracting Command during a visit to USASAC. ACC Commander Maj. Gen. Camille M. Nichols, along with USASAC Commander Maj. Gen. Frank D. Turner III, was provided a demonstration of an ASAE Common Operating Picture, which was developed by USASAC. USASAC teamed with ACC to gain better visibility of the contracting process and contracting pre-award milestones for FMS requirements. This information is then put into the COP allowing a common sight picture for all FMS requirements between USASAC and ACC.
John Neil, Director of USASAC's Performance Management Office briefed the Commanders on the how COP was developed and the work accomplished by USASAC and ACC, and highlighted the efficiencies gained by its development.
The effort to create a COP began early in 2011 when USASAC teamed up with ACC to develop a system that would link the contracting process to the supply process and create an Enterprise wide common operating picture of FMS sales beginning as early in the process as the contract pre-award stage. The purpose of the system would be to allow all members of the ASAE to see FMS contracting milestone information down to the requisition level.
In October 2012, ACC's Virtual Contracting Enterprise (VCE) implemented a daily feed of contracting information through the FMS system of record, CISIL, Centralized Integrated System-International Logistics, allowing case workers to immediately see the current status of contracts. USASAC worked with ACC to add FMS specific fields to the VCE so contracting data could align with logistics data for each and every major end item requirement. These fields included the FMS country, case, line and Military Standard Requisitioning and Issue Procedures Document Number.
Once configured, the VCE data is used specifically to populate the COP and other tools to allow case workers to immediately see the status of contracts, including milestones like the completion of Acquisition Requirements Packages, Target Award Dates, Contract Award Dates and the contracting number for a single requirement on a case. More importantly, ASAE members can now identify and engage in specific contracting actions which may require additional attention.
The result has been the creation of a COP that maximizes transparency in all areas supporting the overall FMS process. By providing beginning to end visibility, ASAE leaders will able to see leading indicators of potential problems and friction points and more effectively provide the appropriate level of assistance to mitigate those issues and steer the process to a successful conclusion.
The uniqueness of the COP is that it crosses multiple organizations and eliminates boundaries, increasing efficiencies and cohesiveness--End-to-End visibility of SA processes/systems enabling anticipatory and proactive execution of SA programs in support of priorities (foreign customer, Department of State, Combatant Commands, Military Departments, etc.).
For example, USASAC country case managers and Lifecycle Management Command Security Assistance Management Directorate case managers may be waiting on a contracting milestone to be completed in support of an FMS case. The COP allows them to view the contracting milestone status and any other relevant milestones in real-time, so work on the next step of the process can begin immediately.
"The collaboration between USASAC and ACC has been extremely successful, John Neil, Director of USASAC's Performance Management Office, said as he demonstrated the capabilities of the COP. "The result of our joint efforts is that leaders at USASAC and across the ASAE all have the ability to better see the entire FMS process."
The development and inclusion of the ACC VCE data has filled a large void in the ASAE's ability to see the entire end-to-end FMS process in the COP. USASAC and ACC are now collaborating on a forecasting process for FMS requirements that will allow ACC to better plan for future FMS workload. The forecasting data provided to ACC will also highlight USASAC's high priority requirements to ACC so emphasis can be placed on those requirements.
Maj. Gen. Nichols and Maj. Gen. Turner both agreed the close collaboration between USASAC and ACC and the capabilities of the COP will pay good dividends to both organizations well into the future.