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News | July 13, 2017

My DCMA: Kara Bennett, administrative contracting officer

By Tonya Johnson DCMA Public Affairs

My DCMA showcases the Defense Contract Management Agency’s experienced and diverse workforce and highlights what being a part of the national defense team means to them. Today we meet Kara Bennett. 

My name is Kara Bennett, and this is My DCMA.

I am an administrative contracting officer at DCMA Syracuse based in Buffalo, New York.

As an ACO, I am responsible for ensuring contracts are compliant with the stated terms and conditions to include following applicable regulations and clauses. I apply business acumen in the decisions that I make as they can directly affect our customers, mission partners or the contractor. I play a pivotal role in protecting the government against fraud, waste and abuse by developing and monitoring forward pricing rates, ensuring compliance with cost accounting standards, surveilling business systems and determining final overhead rates. I also serve as the change agent for the DCMA Hartford contract management office and directly supported the CONCISE pilot program.

I have been a part of the DCMA team for 17 years. I was first exposed to DCMA and the opportunities it offered while working as a summer student hire. From there, I worked as a procurement technician, and then entered and graduated from the Keystone program as a quality assurance specialist, which I was a journeyman in for more than five years. I then changed my discipline to a contract administrator, and today I am an ACO. I look forward to my future with DCMA and the new opportunities that will arise. 

I like working at DCMA because each day I am presented with new challenges and situations, which really allows me to stay focused and interested in my job. I also get to work with my peers for whom I have great respect. I foster open lines of communication and sound working relationships with customers and contractors, which places me in the best position to address any difficult issues encountered during pre and post award contract phases. DCMA offers many opportunities to those willing to work hard and challenge themselves.

I am the independent eyes and ears for the Department of Defense by meeting our customer’s needs through providing the government buying offices the most current and accurate information available to support them in making sound business decisions. I work with an amazing team of DCMA functional specialists and Defense Contract Audit Agency personnel. Serving together as “one team, one voice,” we present a united front to our contractors allowing us to achieve a fair and reasonable price when negotiating contracts. 

I provide actionable acquisition insight to DoD through my ability to work well with others and to persevere even in a difficult situation to accomplish DCMA’s mission of delivering actionable acquisition insight from the factory floor to the front line. 

DCMA is important to America’s warfighters because we are the last piece of the acquisition puzzle to guarantee that our military personnel receive quality supplies and services, on time and at the best value to the government. This isn’t accomplished by a single person — each member of the DCMA team plays a role in this achievement.