Friday, May 11, 2018

DCMA's Ombudsman

DCMA (Defense Contract Management Agency) has an ombudsman to investigate contractor complaints against maladministration. This ombudsman is not exactly a specific person but an email address that serves the same purpose.

DCMA's primary responsibility is to administer the contractual requirements of DoD contracts. DCMA works directly with its military "customers" and contractors to ensure quality products and services are delivered within cost and on schedule.

Depending upon contractual requirements, this could mean constant collaborations and interfaces between the DCMA functional organizations (contracting, quality, engineering, property, safety, transportation, earned value, etc) and contractor representatives.

DCMA believes that good working relationships with contractors is paramount for the successful performance of the contract. While it desires for DCMA/contractor collaborations and interfaces to always be perfect, the Agency fully acknowledges the realities and challenges associated with the performance of contractual requirements.

DCMA cannot guarantee its working relationships with contractors will always be perfect. However, they want to know when there are concerns with its ability to properly administer contractual requirements. Its hope is to resolve concerns at the functional level, which includes involving the Contract Management Office (CMO) chain of command.

When concerns cannot be resolved at the local level (i.e. the CMO level), they can be elevated to DCMA Headquarters in Ft. Lee, VA. Contractor instructions for elevating concerns to the HQ Ombudsman are buried rather deeply on DCMA's website. Here's a direct link to the instructions: DCMA Connect Point for Industry/Contractor Concerns.

We've known a few contractors who have bypassed this step by going directly to their Congressional representatives to seek redress. We don't know the success rate for that tactic but do know that it involves a lot more work for everyone involved. We recommend contractors give the ombudsman a try first.

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