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News | Oct. 12, 2021

DCMA Cost and Pricing reorganizes to centralize focus, expertise

By Elizabeth A. Cross DCMA Cost and Pricing Regional Command

FORT LEE, Va. — The Defense Contract Management Agency’s Cost and Pricing Regional Command recently finalized a major personnel reorganization and a new strategic focus. 

The initiatives support agile workload movement across geographical boundaries, flexibility in meeting customer demand, increased focus on pricing priorities and expanding employee opportunities to broaden technical skills.

The change effectively shifts the reporting structure of pricing teams at contract management offices within each DCMA Region — Eastern, Central, Western and Aircraft Integrated Maintenance Operations — under a single leadership umbrella within the newly restructured pricing division of the CPRC. The new structure affects all cost and pricing personnel and Integrated Cost Analysis Group engineers, excluding the agency’s Special Programs and International team members.

Founded in early 2018, CPRC serves as the agency’s principal cost and pricing interface within the Department of Defense and federal agencies.

With nearly 1,000 team members, the command develops and sustains agency expertise in forward pricing and proposal analysis, approves contractor business systems, performs Overhead Should-Cost Reviews, and provides timely pre-award acquisition support and quality pricing and technical pricing products and services. These professionals serve as DoD’s subject matter experts on commercial acquisitions, pensions and insurance, cost accounting standards, contractor financial capability, defective pricing, and increases cross-functional collaboration and workforce competency in the pricing and technical community.

CPRC Executive Director Jorge Bennett said while the original construct and accomplishments of the team have been a huge success, the reorganization will bring his team’s work to the next level.

“The agency’s cost and pricing success relies solely on our staff’s energy,” Bennett said. “This reorganization is the next step in further focusing our efforts and expertise into a single-minded purpose — maximizing agency resources to tackle the most critical goals and objectives of DoD’s acquisition leadership.”

Increased employee access to diverse work assignments and rotational opportunities through exposure to new contractors, customers and programs represent a signature reorganization benefit. CPRC Deputy Executive Director Mary Sheridan agrees. 

“The reorganization not only enhances our capability to provide pricing support to the (Defense) Department, it also helps to build well-rounded pricing professionals through exposure to the command’s other pricing mission sets, such as commercial pricing, defective pricing, corporate and division administrative contracting officer and cost monitoring functions, CAS administration, financial capability, and OHSCRs,” she said.

CPRC Pricing Division Director Mark Jones, whose new position increases his team from 35 to more than 400, said although the changes greatly improve the process, the command’s over-arching focus will remain the same — continuous mission support to DCMA customers.

“This centralizes the management of workload, budget and workforce development but doesn’t change our purpose,” Jones said. “The realignment will allow agile movement of workload without regard to geographical bounds, enabling flexibility in meeting customer demands, setting pricing priorities, and allowing numerous opportunities to broaden technical skills.”

The reorganize effort began in January 2021, as a pilot program with agency representation from Eastern, Central, Western and AIMO commands. During the three-month pilot, the team explored ways to incorporate efficiencies into pricing support.

After completing in-depth data analysis of existing pricing workload and resource utilization, the pilot team identified efficiencies to support the decision to reorganize — to include developing dashboards to provide better management oversight of pricing workload and creating a tier-model focusing on performance efficiencies to enhance productivity.

“These efficiencies, supported by unprecedented data analysis, ultimately played an integral role in the decision to reorganize,” said Jones.

During the transition period, the team worked closely with agency stakeholders to implement a transition plan with the overarching goal of minimizing disruptions and making the reorganization effort as seamless as possible to employees and customers.

Further refining efficiencies identified during the pilot phase, a new structure organized by major contractor network, geographic location and OHSCR mission was finalized. The restructure team also developed standardized performance plans and created business rules for ACO requests to ensure continuous CMO support in the post-reorganization environment. 

Craig Guy, a supervisory contract cost and pricing analyst with DCMA Hartford, said he is excited about the new organization. “While under our CMO and regional construct, we were able to accomplish our mission,” he said. “I'm excited to see the benefits of our new organization, pricing resources strategically aligned under common leadership, focused on addressing our customers' affordability needs.”

In remarks at the 2018 inception of the CPRC standup, Bennett said “every effort we take is now focused on supporting affordability initiatives by becoming more agile — faster, flexible, responsive — and eliminating waste and inefficiency for us and the contractors we oversee.”

It’s a focus that DCMA Director Army Lt. Gen. David Bassett says continues within the division’s new structure. “Our cost and pricing capability provides immense value to our customers,” Bassett said. “Further integration of this capability will help us maximize its value and provide an increased level of support to the department.”