Friday, March 31, 2017

Elevating Concerns That Are Not Satisfactorily Resolved by Your Local ACO

Did you know that DCMA (Defense Contract Management Agency) has a mechanism whereby contractors can elevate concerns that cannot be resolved at the CMO (Contract Management Office) level? One has to dig deep on DCMA's website to find it but here's a direct link.

According to that site, DCMA's primary responsibility is to administer the contractual requirements of the contracts awarded by its military customers. DCMA works directly with its military customers and with contractors to assure quality products and services are delivered within cost and on schedule. DCMA works closely with contractors in the performance of their contracts. Depending on the contractual requirements, this could mean constant collaborations and interfaces between the DCMA functionals (contracting, quality, engineering, property, safety, transportation, earned value, etc.) and contractor representatives. The DCMA working relationship with contractors is paramount for the successful performance of the contract.

While DCMA would like for collaborations and interfaces to always be perfect, it fully acknowledges the realities and challenges associated with the performance of contractual requirements.

DCMA does not guarantee working relationships with contractors will always be perfect. However, when issues cannot be resolved at the local level, DCMA Headquarters wants to hear about them. On those occasions when a concern cannot be resolved at the local level, the website provides a link for elevating the problem to HQ. HQ will, in turn acknowledge receipt of the complaint, route it to the appropriate official, and respond to, or ensure a response is provided to, the requester.

DCMA needs certain information to adequately respond to elevated issues including a contract number, contractor contact information (of course), the local DCMA official, a detailed description of the concern, and a statement as to whether the concern was elevated through the local chain of command.

We do not have any experience with this established mechanism for raising concerns or issues that cannot be satisfactorily resolved at the local level nor do we have any knowledge on how effective this mechanism is in resolving issues. But at least there is a mechanism. If you have any experiences with elevating issues to DCMA HQ, please let us know.

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