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News | Jan. 31, 2022

Technical Pricing Support sets Gold Card Standard

By Peter Lavallee and Paul Plonski DCMA Technical Directorate

The recently released Technical Pricing Support Gold Card has raised the bar on agency job performance aids.

This new addition to the TPS toolbox is user-friendly with valuable information. It can be used by agency engineers, industrial specialists, and quality assurance specialists to increase their knowledge of TPS processes and analytical techniques. It can also improve their reports to better engage customers and drive affordability on Department of Defense acquisitions.

Matthew Lupone, the Defense Contract Management Agency Technical Directorate’s executive director, wanted the Gold Card team to use desired end-state goals when determining how their engineering expertise could provide greater value to customers.

This vision, along with the assistance and leadership of Christopher Brust, the TD Engineering Division chief, helped the team engage employees in the field and utilize knowledge from across the agency, which enabled the team’s success.

“The Engineering Division has championed a long-standing team environment with field subject matter experts that has led to the development and the success of the TPS Gold Card, as well as the TPS training course material, class instruction, and Defense Acquisition University transition,” said Brust.

During the courses ENGR230: Technical Support to Negotiations and ENGR233: Technical Support to Indirect Costs, subject matter experts received feedback from participants requesting better access to technical pricing information. The Technical Directorate answered the call and the TPS Gold Card initiative was launched. Prior to beta testing, the Gold-Card program was developed with assistance from ENGR230 and ENGR233 workshop instructors, employees from the Cost and Pricing Regional Command, and the agency’s Contracting Directorate.

The development team consisted of David Andrews, DCMA Orlando; Lucas Garza, DCMA Evendale; Travis Goodwin, DCMA Huntsville; Christopher Lowe, DCMA East; Andrew Parcels, DCMA Boeing St. Louis; Tiny Denise Taylor, DCMA Cost and Pricing Regional Command; and Angelica Rogers, DCMA headquarters Contracting Directorate.

The tool has two primary sections: Technical Support to Negotiations and Technical Support to Indirect Costs. The sections are structured in stages that follow the logical flow of a TPS request to provide a quick visual representation of elements from guidance through completing the report and supporting negotiations. Each stage contains a tab that opens to display links to relevant information on tasks that may occur during each stage. The technical specialist identifies which stage of the review they are in, opens the tab, and then selects the relevant topic.

More than 500 users have accessed the TPS Gold Card to date, and according to Lupone, “the approval ratings are high.”

User comments include “access to the site is relatively easy” and “we shouldn’t call this a gold card, but call it a gold mine instead.” Another comment stated that from a functional stand point, it was easy to access, print, copy, and save pertinent information for future reference.

“I am grateful to the team for creating a product that employees can use to better support our internal and external customers,” said Lupone.

For more information, visit TD's PS Gold Card web page (DCMA employees only).