Procurement

DOD to start filing more contract information

documentation

DOD contract documentation is about to become more exacting. (Stock image)

Defense contracting officers now must indicate the type of functions that service contracts cover, particularly those closely associated with inherently governmental or critical functions, as the data goes into the Federal Procurement Data System. The Defense Department is making the change to its practices because it handles work on contracts funded predominately by civilian agencies, according to a memo from Feb. 25.

Defense contracting officers have been spared the task for the past year, but that will change on March 1.

"This collection results in more information about the role service contracts play in achieving agency objectives," wrote Richard Ginman, director of defense procurement and acquisition policy, in a Feb. 25 memo.

Contracting officers must comply with the guidance issued in 2011 by the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. Gathering this data is a requirement included in the fiscal 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act; Congress mandated the data from civilian agencies, but exempted DOD.

The appropriations law, however, applies to the funding organization. Since DOD works as the funding organization for many civilian agencies, DOD has decided to include the new reporting requirement for its employees. And while the new reporting starts March 1, Ginman told DOD contracting officers to do the designation of an earlier award if an agency requests it.

In the 2011 guidance, OFPP explained that the information would help agencies prioritize which contracts may need increased management attention to keep contractors away from inherently governmental functions while the agency maintains control of operations. Inherently governmental functions are jobs only federal employees are allowed to do.

The new data-gathering requirement is in addition to current DOD efforts. Defense contracting officials already are required to complete the DOD Inventory of Contracts for Services, and officials have decided to collect function indicators for DOD funded actions too. In addition, acquisition officers still must adhere to the guidance related to the Enterprise-wide Contractor Manpower Reporting Application. Officers also must continue including language about reporting all contractor labor hours in performance work statements for service contracts for or on behalf of the DOD, regardless of the funding source, Ginman wrote.

"Identifying closely associated and critical functions at the time of award should assist in prioritizing which contractors may require increased management attention and oversight to ensure that mission creep does not result in the performance of inherently governmental functions by contractors, and ensure that the agency does not lose control of its mission and operations," Ginman wrote.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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Reader comments

Sat, Mar 2, 2013 Jaime Gracia Washington, DC

Transparency is vital to understand how to improve buying, but more importantly, how to buy more strategically and save money without affecting mission outcomes. Service contract inventories, along with AcqStat reviews, should be analyzed to verify spend, innovate for strategic sourcing opportunities, shine the light on bad actors and improper "small business" awards to large primes while paving the way to limit inherently governmental contracts. One of the key methods will be big data analysis, along with standardizing FPDS inputs for consistence and accuracy, will go a long way towards improving contract spends and saving money, verifying impact, and also completing balanced workforce assessments for proper insourcing opportunities. Data drives decision making, or at least it should anyway.

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