Coast Guard revises acquisition manual

The Coast Guard has revised its acquisition guidance to ensure that major construction projects get a formal design review before starting production, the agency has announced.

On Oct. 17, the Coast Guard completed a revision to its Major Systems Acquisition Manual to meet a requirement set by Congress, according to a news release dated Nov. 3. Lawmakers included language in the Homeland Security Department’s fiscal 2009 spending package to address concerns related to the Coast Guard’s $24 billion Deepwater program to acquire cutter ships, patrol boats and other replacement assets.

The service is requesting a refund from Deepwater contractors for eight 123-foot patrol boats that were structurally unsound. The vessels had been lengthened to extend their life but were weakened in the process.

Congress said that “no funding may be obligated for low rate initial production or initial production of any Integrated Deepwater Systems program asset until the Coast Guard revises its Major Systems Acquisition Manual procedures to require a formal design review prior to the authorization of low rate initial production or initial production.”

To meet that requirement, the acquisition manual now incorporates systems engineering best practices, including a requirement for project managers to document completion of the preliminary design review, critical design review and test readiness review showing agreement among the technical authorities, the Coast Guard said.
 
“The revised MSAM provides clearer guidance to Project Managers, incorporates lessons learned and best practices for major systems acquisition and continues the Coast Guard’s progress in strengthening its acquisition framework. It also aligns acquisition policy and procedure with organizational changes that have taken place within the Coast Guard, such as the renewed reliance on Coast Guard Technical Authorities,” the release stated.

The manual is now aligned with the Coast Guard’s Blueprint for Acquisition Reform, the service said .
Other modifications to the manual:
 
• Add overview of project manager authority and responsibility.
• Add Milestone 2A, which requires approval by the component acquisition executive before to commencing low rate initial production.
• Add linkages of acquisition process with budget and requirements.
• Overhaul the requirements generation process to align with new organizational efficiencies – with the assistant commandant for marine safety, security, and stewardship responsible for mission analysis and the assistant commandant for capability responsible for developing requirements.
• Institute an independent logistics assessment and logistics readiness review.
• Streamline the review and approval process for acquisition planning documents.
• Require approval of the test and evaluation management plan and test plans prior to commencing test and evaluation.
• Provide guidance for solicitation planning.
• Require project/program risk management plans..
• Require independent cost estimates.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • Social network, census

    5 predictions for federal IT in 2017

    As the Trump team takes control, here's what the tech community can expect.

  • Rep. Gerald Connolly

    Connolly warns on workforce changes

    The ranking member of the House Oversight Committee's Government Operations panel warns that Congress will look to legislate changes to the federal workforce.

  • President Donald J. Trump delivers his inaugural address

    How will Trump lead on tech?

    The businessman turned reality star turned U.S. president clearly has mastered Twitter, but what will his administration mean for broader technology issues?

  • Login.gov moving ahead

    The bid to establish a single login for accessing government services is moving again on the last full day of the Obama presidency.

  • Shutterstock image (by Jirsak): customer care, relationship management, and leadership concept.

    Obama wraps up security clearance reforms

    In a last-minute executive order, President Obama institutes structural reforms to the security clearance process designed to create a more unified system across government agencies.

  • Shutterstock image: breached lock.

    What cyber can learn from counterterrorism

    The U.S. has to look at its experience in developing post-9/11 counterterrorism policies to inform efforts to formalize cybersecurity policies, says a senior official.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group