Friday, November 23, 2012

DoD Publishes BBP 2.0 Initiatives

Last week, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Logistics issued a memorandum to the Defense Acquisition Workforce introducing his preliminary version of the Better Buying Power 2.0 initiative. Although BBP 2.0 is intended for the acquisition workforce, "industry" stakeholders are also invited to comment on these 36 initiatives intended to improve the way that the Department does business.

We encourage contractors (and prospective contractors) to study these initiatives to determine their potential impact on operations. There are some that try to squeeze more product out of fewer dollars. Here's a sampling:

Better define value in "best value" competitions: In competitive bidding processes, industry tends to default to threshold performance levels because they are less costly and source selections seldom give predictable credit for performance above threshold. In addition, when the Department buys non-developmental items (NDI) or near-NDI products, it often must select among products with varying levels of performance and with inherent cost differentials. The Department needs to improve its ability to define the value to the Department of performance that is above minimum levels so that it can make appropriate source selections and so that industry can bid intelligently. This will spur innovation by providing a predictable basis by which companies can bid enhanced performance with he knowledge that any increased costs are within an acceptable range.
Many competitive awards list a variety of evaluation criteria, specify the relative importance of each and then states that the award will be based on "best value to the Government". A lot of contractors think that this phrase is the Government's opening to award the contract to whoever they want to award it to because it allows subjectivity and judgment in the selection process. So, this initiative seems pretty good to us.

Reduce backlog of DCAA Audits without compromising effectiveness: The Department has a significant backlog in both closeout and pre-award audits. DCAA, with the assistance of DCMA and DPAP, is increasing audit resources and developing a risk-based process for reducing the audit backlog. We expect to make major gains in reducing audit-associated delays in both contract closeouts and pre-award audits in 2013.
All contractors will appreciate having their backlog of completed contracts closed out. The interesting thing about this initiative is the comment that DCMA will be helping DCAA clear out this backlog. We wonder whether this represents a further dimunition of DCAA's authorities and responsibilities.

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