Friday, June 23, 2017

What is Actionable Acquisition Insight?

What is "Actionable Acquisition Insight"? If you don't know, ask your local DCMA (Defense Contract Management Agency) person for a definition. Everyone at DCMA possess it, seemingly. So they must know what it means.

Every month or so, DCMA publishes a short autobiographical sketch on their website of someone in their organization. The series, entitled "My DCMA" intends to showcase DCMA's workforce and "... highlights what being part of the national defense team means to them." Yesterday's "showcase" was a contract administrator out of Indianapolis.

We know the functions assigned to contract administration under FAR 42.302 - an impossible list of 71 different responsibilities or activities but when we saw this article, we thought we could gain some insight on what DCMA's contract administrators really do once they pull their picture badge on a lanyard over their necks and get down to work. I guess we'll have to keep looking because there is no such information in this autobiography.

In his autobiographical sketch, Mr. Jamal Hoover states "I am the independent eyes and ears for DOD". Later, he claims to provide "actionable acquisition insight to DoD". Hmm, those phrases are familiar. Where have we seen them before. Oh yes, those claims come from DCMA's mission statement:
We are the independent eyes and ears of DoD and its partners, delivering actionable acquisition insight from the factory floor to the front line ... around the world.
Let's not just pick on Mr. Hoover. How about previous "My DCMA" articles. Take Mr Jon Bayus in Cleveland. His autobiographical sketch states: "I provide actionable acquisition insight to the Department of Defense ...".

Or, how about James Vandross in Whicita. "I provide actionable acquisition insight to the DoD ...".

We could give more examples but you've got the gist. It seems like these "independent eyes and ears" are not so independent when it comes to writing about what they do on a daily basis.

We had an occasion to visit DCMA not long ago. We walked into their un-signed building, punched the elevator button for the third floor, walked down a long dimly-lit hallway to a windowless door and pushed a buzzer to get help. It took awhile for someone to come to the door and let us in, probably because everyone inside was engaged in providing actionable acquisition insight to DoD.

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