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News | Dec. 29, 2021

My DCMA: Steven Arora, administrative contracting officer

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, Steven Arora shares his story.

My name is Steven Arora, and this is “My DCMA.”

I am an administrative contracting officer at DCMA Cleveland. I also hold a separate warrant as an administrative grants officer and administrative agreements officer.

I manage the contract administration of more than 700 contracts valued at over $700 million to support more than 150 contractors in Cleveland, Akron and Youngstown, Ohio.

My job duties include serving as the ACO to coordinate and interface with government agencies and industry in order to conduct contract administration functions, including pre-award surveys, post-award orientation conferences, program management reviews, and audits.

I provide acquisition expertise and administration guidance to internal and external stakeholders on strategies, laws, regulations, and performance standards. I am also responsible for the strategic relationships with external and internal governmental stakeholders, including procurement contracting officers, program managers, auditors, inspector general representatives, cost monitors, and senior leaders.

I have been a part of the DCMA team since September 2019. I like working at DCMA Cleveland because it requires building coalitions with outside governmental agencies and industry in order to achieve the Department of Defense’s tenant of a sound and effective industrial base.

Cleveland is a collectivist society where relationships matter, and manufacturing is central to the economic structure. The region supports many DoD agencies and programs at the component level and local contractors understand they are the building blocks of DoD’s reach and capabilities. I have had the pleasure working with local contractors and agencies to help them better understand federal acquisition regulations and requirements, which has allowed contractors to be more efficient and focused on contract delivery.

I enjoy working at DCMA because the agency is a national leader in supporting the career development and work-life balance of its employees. DCMA has the infrastructure, resources and willingness to support my career goals while also allowing me to attend to the needs of my young family.

The personnel at DCMA are extremely diverse in their skill-sets, training and career experiences, and working at DCMA provides me the opportunity to work with and learn from such a wealth of talent. Also, DCMA has a willing culture to support and lift their fellow employees.

DCMA is important to America’s warfighters because the agency performs contract administration services for DoD, authorized federal agencies, foreign governments, international organizations, and others. All of DCMA’s services ensure the warfighters are receiving weapons, equipment, and tools that will meet quality standards. This ultimately puts our warfighters at an operational advantage. In addition, DCMA saves the warfighter and the taxpayer billions of dollars in recovered and avoided costs each year.

Even though DCMA has had to deal with resource and funding constraints, the agency has positioned itself with personnel and flexibility to provide value-added benefits to DoD and warfighters. DCMA has repeatedly shown value on its’ return-on-investment to the taxpayer and ensuring product gets into the hands of the warfighter on-time and at-cost.

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the world, and DCMA found a way to meet its mission while having to deal with the impacts of the pandemic. It’s truly incredible to see how DCMA and agency employees became more flexible, efficient and resourceful as a result of the pandemic.

I plan to work for the agency for a long time. My future career goals include being in a position that allows me to serve and positively impact the well-being and goals of DoD and its employees. My other goals include meeting the mission while ensuring the health and safety of my team and providing opportunities and resources to other DCMA personnel for their own career growth. In addition, I want to develop training resources and networks with Cleveland-area contractors in order to help local small businesses with federal acquisition requirements and performance.

My favorite hobbies include spending time with my wife and two young kids, kayaking on Lake Erie and local waterways, attending Cleveland Cavaliers, Browns and Guardians sporting events, and travelling and learning from others whenever possible.

Something unique about me is that I had a break of service from DoD and worked for the University of Virginia’s Office of Sponsored programs where I served as a senior contract negotiator supporting UVA’s School of Engineering and Applied Science. I was responsible for contractual negotiation, management and administration for complex service and research projects. It was thrilling to have a front row seat to the cutting-edge research conducted by such talented faculty and students.