Dispatches from NCMA: CDC contracting shines during Ebola response

Federal News Radio Executive Editor Jason Miller is reporting this week from the National Contract Management Association’s World Congress in Dallas. Below are some dispatches he filed from the event.

 
CDC contracting shines in response to Ebola outbreak
DALLAS — There are plenty of examples why federal procurement doesn’t work. But in times of emergency, the real talents of the community come out.

Just look at the Centers for Disease Control and...

READ MORE

Federal News Radio Executive Editor Jason Miller is reporting this week from the National Contract Management Association’s World Congress in Dallas. Below are some dispatches he filed from the event.


 

CDC contracting shines in response to Ebola outbreak

DALLAS — There are plenty of examples why federal procurement doesn’t work. But in times of emergency, the real talents of the community come out.

Just look at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Just about a year ago, the CDC jumped into the response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

In a short amount of time, the CDC received about $1 billion in emergency funding and had to process about 700 transactions before deploying people and equipment to the affected regions.

Jeff Napier, the CDC’s director of the Office of Acquisition Services, said the operations center had only three full-time contracting officers to handle many of these emergency actions.

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New DoD services acquisition policy almost final

DALLAS — New rules for how the Defense Department will buy services are in their final approval stages.

Col. James DeLong, a senior program analyst for the Air Force, said Tuesday that the 5000.ac policy is in the hands of Alan Estevez, DoD’s principal deputy undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics, for review before it heads for signature from Frank Kendall, the undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics.

DeLong didn’t give a timetable for when DoD would finalize the policy, but it should come later this year.

The new policy, which has been under development for the better part of a year, aims to bring together several ongoing initiatives to improve how the military buys services. Services account for about 55 percent ($156 billion) of all DoD’s acquisition spending.

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GSA FedSIM tests innovative contracting approach

DALLAS — The General Services Administration’s FedSIM program is going to experiment with the Federal Acquisition Regulations.

Chris Hamm, the director of FedSIM, said he believes his organization is the right candidate to take a risk.

“We are going to do a pilot using FAR Part 16,” Hamm said during his sessions at the National Contract Management Association’s World Congress Tuesday. “We are inventing a new process within Part 16. We are trying to take the paperwork out of the process.”

More specifically, Hamm said FedSIM will use FAR Part 16.505, (b) Orders under multiple-award contracts. He said this section is a fairly straightforward section that calls for agencies to do three basic things: provide fair opportunities, consider price as an evaluation factor and offer unsuccessful bidders with a debriefing.

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