Enhancing Oversight of Services Acquisition
This is the third and final installment in a series of articles about improving Army services acquisition. The first two articles focused on the general features, applicability, and governance structure of the “Optimization of Army Services Acquisition Implementation Plan,” which was recently approved by the Secretary of the Army. In this final installment, we describe new reporting requirements for assessing success in meeting Army fiscal and performance objectives for services acquisition.
Earlier this year, an Armywide data call established, for the first time, a baseline of all Army services acquisition requirements by command and by portfolio group for FY12 through FY16. In the baseline report, commands provided detailed services acquisition requirements valued at $109 billion. The Army has identified a total of $11.4 billion in savings (FY12 through FY16), a projected cost reduction of just over 10 percent. Periodic reporting will continue to build on this baseline and provide the data needed to gauge how well the Army is managing and executing its improved services requirements. The two new reports are the Semi-Annual Forecast and the Quarterly Services Cost Savings report.
The Semi-Annual Forecast is a new requirement for commands to submit, beginning with the first quarter of FY12. The objective of this report is to update the initial data call every six months, forecasting all services requirements valued at greater than $10 million for the subsequent 24 months. The report will provide data needed to prepare for requirements execution and will ensure that management and oversight processes are in place to successfully complete the acquisition with optimum efficiency and value to the Army.
In order to track and monitor the services acquisition cost savings they identified for FY12 through FY16, commands will also be required to provide Quarterly Services Cost Savings reports beginning with the second quarter of FY12. The objective of this reporting mechanism is to track the commands’ progress in achieving the savings projected in the initial data call and semiannual forecasts, and to capture savings data that were not anticipated when the forecasts were made.
Selected service acquisitions from each portfolio group will undergo an annual requirements and execution review (ARER), to examine the efficacy of improved tradecraft practices and the success of cost-saving measures. All service acquisitions valued at $10 million or greater are subject to an ARER, which can be characterized as an annual appraisal of service acquisition management and oversight processes. The ARER will be a valuable tool in determining what works and what doesn’t in meeting the Army’s fiscal and mission objectives.
The reporting functions that have been implemented as part of the “Optimization of Army Services Acquisition Implementation Plan” are critical to the Army’s approach to meeting its objectives for increased efficiency and productivity in services acquisition spending. The results of the next year’s reporting cycle are expected to provide the metrics to assess the Army’s progress toward achieving these goals.
Summary: Improving Services Acquisition
The three installments published here described the “Optimization of Army Services Acquisition Implementation Plan,” which presents a comprehensive approach to meeting mission needs for services efficiently and affordably. It describes the structure, accountability, governance, management control, and information requirements necessary to establish rigor and excellence for services procurement. The plan addresses the training of the workforce to achieve these ends while minimizing the burden for individual commands. The Army continues to craft a new way of doing business—to balance the Soldier’s need for timely, high-quality services with rigorous acquisition discipline and principles to ensure best value.
For more information on the DASA for Services, visit https://www.alt.army.mil/portal/page/portal/oasaalt/OASA(ALT)%20Services%20(SAAL-ZV)%20and%20DASA-S.
Read more from DASA for Services:
- DASA for Services Staff