By DCMA Technical Directorate
Defense Contract Management Agency personnel recently received a Defense Priorities and Allocations System, also known as DPAS, briefing from representatives from the Department of Commerce and the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment.
“The purpose of the briefing was to assure a thorough understanding of DPAS as it is a regulatory requirement included in contracts administered by DCMA’s manufacturing and production community,” said Rita Hicks, an industrial specialist in the Technical Directorate who planned and facilitated the event. “The Department of Commerce has the delegated authority to place priority ratings on contracts or orders necessary to promote national defense.
“The intent of the collaboration was to emphasize the importance of administering the execution of DPAS requirements while ensuring contract management team members provide accurate interpretation when educating or assessing contractors during contract performance. The session also provided an opportunity to introduce our new headquarters’ DPAS officer, Robert Berardinelli.”
During the June 20 event, contract management personnel, customer liaison representatives, and others from different functional areas representing 37 contract management offices participated via virtual session.
“It is essential that persons administering contracts be aware that DPAS is used to prioritize national defense-related contracts and orders throughout the U.S. supply chain while providing supplies and services in a timely manner to support the warfighters,” said Hicks.
“DPAS ratings identify those parts required by the warfighter to maintain aircraft, ships, weapon systems, armored vehicles, and other items at a state of combat readiness to accomplish the mission. Failure to identify and deliver these critical parts to the warfighter will likely impact mission success,” added Hicks.
Hicks said she received positive feedback from the DCMA employees who participated in the event.
“Employees mentioned the briefings were informative and comprehensive. The briefers answered numerous questions concerning policy and explained the roles and responsibilities of DPAS officials,” she said. “The interaction between DPAS officers, the representatives from the Department of Commerce and the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment was extremely valuable as we received first-hand knowledge on managing various scenarios.”
Connie Joseph, a customer liaison representative at DCMA headquarters, said the session helped her understand the history of the program.
“The presentation provided excellent information about DPAS,” said Joseph. “They explained the history, their relationship with other entities, and provided insight on current initiatives to update the program. Most importantly, this engagement proved how critical it is to build alliances and to share information with our DoD partners. It was a very successful training session.”
Juan Millan, the Defense Production Act Title I program director in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy, said the training ensures DCMA employees remain current on DPAS requirements.
“DPAS ensures the timely availability of industrial resources to meet national defense requirements,” he said. “It is the operating system that leads to a rapid industrial response, and we need to maintain a fully trained workforce.”
Liam McMenamin, a senior staff officer who briefed from the Department of Commerce, said it’s important to work with DCMA.
“DCMA provides contract management services on many DPAS rated orders to ensure that persons who receive contracts are thoroughly familiar and in compliance with the provisions of the DPAS regulations,” said McMenamin.
Prior to this event, Hicks said the last time employees from the three agencies met was in 2016.
The goal, she said, is to maintain and increase collaboration between the three agencies.
“All representatives agreed that maintaining a consistent partnership is vital so personnel across the agencies are aware of DPAS requirements, policies and changes.
“Just like the previous meeting, the goal for this meeting was to provide maximum opportunity for contract management professionals with various degrees of experience an opportunity to participate in briefings provided by those responsible for writing the requirements and to allow the opportunity for interaction. All of us who participated consider this collaborative session a success,” said Hicks.
There will be a DPAS teleconference on Aug. 23 for employees interested in learning more about what was discussed in June. DPAS teleconferences are usually held once a quarter. For more information, contact Robert Berardinelli at Robert.Berardinelli@dcma.mil or 804-734-1209.
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