POSITION: Chief, Southern Regional Contracting Office
UNIT: Healthcare Acquisition Activity, MEDCOM
TOTAL YEARS OF ARMY SERVICE: 23
AWARDS: Bronze Star (2), Meritorious Service Medal (3), Army Commendation Medal (6), Army Achievement Medal (3)
EDUCATION: Master’s degrees in management and procurement and acquisition, Webster University; B.S. in finance, Providence College
Contracting work supports 500,000-plus Soldiers and families
By Susan Follett
Lt. Col. Robert Strob joined the Army in 1991, looking to travel the world, serve his country, learn new skills and support his family and community. Along the way, he’s managed to notch some significant savings for the Army Medical Command (MEDCOM).
Strob, chief of MEDCOM’s Southern Regional Contracting Office (SRCO), instituted an innovative acquisition planning communication method with the three separate Army medical centers within the SRCO’s area of responsibility, reducing unauthorized commitments by 77 percent in less than 10 months—equating to more than $500,000 in cost-avoidance savings.
“Our regional contracting officer set up quarterly venues with our largest medical centers where we focused on the root cause of unauthorized commitments. We ensured that training for contracting officer representatives (CORs) was increased, and command leadership from the medical centers on down ensured accountability for customers to submit timely procurement requirements,” he explained.
“Additionally, we structured surveillance visits with the contracting officer (KO), COR and resource management section on previous high-risk unauthorized commitment areas within the medical treatment facilities—surgery and laboratory, for example—to sustain and provide assistance to CORs on how to maintain a contract expenditure report and how to submit timely purchase requests to General Fund Enterprise Business Systems for short-fuse critical care requirements. It was definitely a team effort, and I’m proud of what we were able to accomplish.”
FOTF: What do you do and why is it important to the warfighter?
STROB: I’m the chief of MEDCOM SRCO, which executes roughly half of all the Army’s annual healthcare contracting dollars—that equates to more than $433 million. We procure all of the personal services health care contracts and medical supplies in support of the San Antonio Military Health System’s state-of-the-art centers, which include the Center of Excellence for Amputee Care, the Center for the Intrepid rehabilitation facility, the Brain Injury Research, Rehabilitation and Resiliency Center and the Warrior Resiliency Program.
FOTF: What are some of the milestones you’ve achieved?
STROB: SRCO is successfully exceeding the Army Surgeon General’s acquisition timeline for the fourth quarter FY14 procurements relating to the System for Health Projects, a $10 million initiative that includes the National System for Health Communications Strategy, the Army Tele-Health Project, and the Army Women’s Health Center Model for customer service as it relates to delivering babies for the DOD health care beneficiary population.
Additionally, we’ve successfully coordinated with the Washington Headquarters Services, Acquisition Directorate to award two indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) close-out contracts with a total value of $1.1 million dollars via funding from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Procurement (DASA (P)). These IDIQ task orders equate to no costs to MEDCOM with the future capability to meet DASA (P) directives, closing out more than 5,400 contracts in FY15.
FOTF: What’s the biggest challenge you face in your work?
STROB: The biggest challenge is receiving complete procurement packages from customers for their respective requirements. But we’re working to overcome it through institutionalized acquisition milestone planning, and scheduled forums with our customer base via Defense Connect Online training, teleconferences, and structured COR- and customer-based training.
FOTF:What is your greatest satisfaction in being part of the acquisition workforce?
STROB: As an Army Acquisition Corps member I am responsible for procuring critical medical services and supplies that support the uniformed service members, retirees and their families, a beneficiary population of more than 503,000 in MEDCOM’s largest regional medical command. I’ve also been able to support operations overseas in Afghanistan, deploying as a contingency KO in December 2009-December 2010 to support the senior contracting official in Afghanistan. I’m honored to be part of a profession with high standards of conduct to ensure DOD procurement requirements are met and support the trust and confidence of the U.S. taxpayer.
- “Faces of the Force” is an online feature highlighting members of the Army Acquisition Workforce. Produced by the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center Communication Division, and working closely with public affairs officers, Soldiers and Civilians currently serving in a variety of AL&T disciplines. For more information, or to nominate someone, please contact 703-805-1006.
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