DOD wants its contracting offices under one roof

Editor's Note: The story was corrected to state that Defense Department organizations will keep their systems but instead link to a new service that will standardize contract clauses across DOD.

Defense Department officials have ordered the department's organizations to link their individual contract writing systems to a single, enterprisewide contracting service that will standardize contract clauses and provisions.

Developing the Web-based, central system “is critical to the future of contract writing in DOD,” Richard Ginman, DOD’s director of defense procurement and acquisition policy (DPAP), wrote in an Aug. 31 memo.

For years, contracting offices across the department have interpreted provisions and clauses from the Federal Acquisition Regulation and DOD’s regulatory supplement with a lot of variation. Ginman said it was a carryover from the days of when contracts were written on paper. The result has been duplication and redundancies in systems that agencies across DOD have built through the years. There are roughly 10 legacy systems used by DOD organizations.

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“It is anticipated that all target DOD and legacy systems performing contract writing functions will utilize this service, rather than develop and maintain similar capabilities within their own applications,” according a document attached to the memo that details the transition.

Officials are planning to base the new system on a service-oriented architecture approach, which provides a Web-based service.

The Air Force will lead the new program because of its experience with building contracting writing systems, such as Standard Procurement System. The transition will happen over several years.

To be uniform, the transition will likely also affect agencies that help DOD with acquisitions, according to the memo.

Officials will have to work with DPAP to negotiate schedules for adding their DOD-wide service to their legacy systems.

About the Author

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


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