Lee to review procurement system

With the Standard Procurement System rolled out to roughly half of the armed services' 42,000 contracting officers, it's time to review the program to determine if the "one size fits all strategy" makes sense, the Defense Department's acting deputy chief information officer said.

In one of his last acts before leaving the Pentagon March 13, former deputy CIO Paul Brubaker requested that DOD procurement director Deidre Lee review the system.

Margaret Myers, the acting deputy CIO, said Wednesday that the system may work well for relatively small, installation-level purchases — where it's currently used — but it may not work well for inventory control point and major weapons systems acquisitions, she said.

"The one-size-fits-all strategy may not make sense," Myers said.

"We believe strongly that the [first] "S' in SPS stands for "standard,' " said Michael Dow, vice president of the industrial consulting and systems group at American Management Systems Inc., an SPS vendor. Under current plans, inventory control point and major weapons systems contracting officers would use SPS by 2003.

Using SPS for all acquisitions would help DOD reduce its training costs and would enable the armed services to share data easier, Dow said. In some installations, users are making major weapons purchases through SPS, which shows that it can work for those purposes, he said.

The review comes on the heels of a DOD inspector general report this month on SPS and ongoing Capitol Hill scrutiny of the $326 million program, which the Defense Contract Management Agency runs.

Lee gave a speech Feb. 27 supporting SPS at an AMS-sponsored user conference.

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