Air Force works to cut services costs

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"A new deal"

More than half of the Air Force's procurement dollars is spent on services, including those related to information technology, and the force is attempting to cut those costs, according to the Air Force's contracting chief.

"Fifty-three percent of Air Force procurement dollars goes to services and a big piece of that is IT," said Brig. Gen. Darryl Scott, deputy assistant secretary for contracting in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition. "We need to cut services costs by 10 percent by 2011. We were supposed to cut 3 percent in 2002 and we didn't do it."

To help achieve its cost-cutting goal, the Air Force recently created the program executive officer (PEO) for services to oversee services contracts that exceed $100 million, and any Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76 public-private competition issues that affect more than 300 positions, Scott said during a Nov. 13 speech at Air Force IT Day.

The PEO for services already has identified more than 200 programs, worth a combined $60 billion, that fall under its purview, he said.

Scott said the IT services contracts that have been flagged by the PEO for services include:

* The Intelligence, Information, Command, Control, Equipment and Enhancements (ICE2) program, which is a governmentwide effort designed to provide worldwide sustainment, maintenance and technical support for intelligence and C2 systems.

* Software equipment support at Eglin Air Force Base, Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

"For most IT, we don't want to own it [because costs are too high and] it becomes obsolete so quickly," he said.

The Northern Virginia chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) International sponsored Air Force IT Day.

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