By Lidia Cabello
DCMA Cost and Pricing
Defense Contract Management Agency’s Commercial Item Group, known as CIG, held its inaugural industry day Feb. 20 at MacDill Air Force Base.
The event was organized by Jorge Bennett, the executive director of DCMA Cost and Pricing, and his staff. Senior leaders from the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, or OSD (A&S), as well as government contractors attended the meeting. Approximately 150 attendees spent the day discussing and collaborating with the CIG as they addressed a variety of commercial acquisition topics.
“This collaborative approach with industry creates a united understanding of expectations surrounding commercial acquisitions and the common goal to deliver high-quality products and services to the warfighter,” said Bennett. “Regular interactions between the CIG and industry will create a forum where both parties can discuss new policy changes, industry can provide feedback on the current CIG process, industry can discuss challenges they face as a commercial supplier, and the CIG can provide real-time feedback to industry regarding the quality of proposal submittals.”
Bennett and Kim Herrington, acting principal director of Defense Pricing and Contracting at OSD (A&S), provided keynote briefings.
The CIG’s mission is to provide acquisition insight for the integration of commercial products and services within Department of Defense to streamline procurements and ensure warfighters receive cutting-edge technology at fair and reasonable prices. Industry day was created as an opportunity for defense contractors and non-traditional defense contractors to gain an understanding of commercial acquisitions within DoD.
During the event, topics included:
◾An overview of the CIG organization and mission.
◾Federal Acquisition Regulation and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation requirements pertaining to prime contractors’ commercial item proposal submittals.
◾Briefing from the DCMA Contractor Purchasing System Review director providing an overview on how the CIG team augments the CPSR team in reviewing contractor commercial contract files.
◾An overview from the CIG’s engineers and contract price/cost analysts who presented their perspectives and approaches to evaluating commerciality, performing market research, and evaluating fair and reasonable pricing.
◾A brainstorming session where the CIG discussed challenges to both the group and industry, with the intent to make changes to enhance the process.
◾Question and answer session in which CIG personnel solicited feedback from industry representatives and provided clarification to contractors pertaining to the group’s internal processes, interpretation of commercial acquisition statutory and regulatory requirements, and other general commercial acquisition inquires.
According to Bennett, the day was filled with open dialogue and lessons learned, resulting in both government and industry personnel prepared to submit and evaluate contractor proposal packages. The overall goal is to expedite the acquisition cycle time.
One of the feedback forms received from an industry participant read, “Outstanding event, loved the interaction with the CIG SMEs … this is the future.”
“We are excited to see that the initial responses received from industry were very positive,” said Daniel Hawley, CIG director. “This feedback solidifies these types of engagements are value added and is a step in the right direction to ensure our common-end customer, the warfighter, is receiving quality products and services in a timely manner to accomplish their mission.”
The CIG plans to hold these events on a regular basis by combining in-person and virtual opportunities.
“I look forward to participating in future industry day engagements and translating comments and inputs received from industry into action plans to continue working toward improving the overarching commercial acquisition environment,” said Bennett.
The CIG intends to continue to push boundaries in the ever-changing and challenging commercial acquisition environment, create new ideas and change traditions in government acquisitions to better replicate commercial business practices, Bennett added. “The approach in having open communication with industry not only aligns with OSD (A&S) guidance and the National Defense Strategy, it is also a best practice for any organization.”
DCMA employees can learn more about the CIG by visiting www.dcma.mil/commercial-item-group.
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