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By Monica Riley
Defense Contract Management Agency Dallas hosted its annual administrative contracting officer roundtable and contract administrator boot camp July 11-13. Concurrently, the contract management office hosted a staff assistance visit with employees from the Central Region’s Contracts Directorate.
“Thinking outside the box is what DCMA Dallas does best,” said Cheryl Pailin, Contracts director at DCMA Dallas. “Though the ACO roundtable and boot camp customarily focus on best practices and the evaluation and incorporation of new policies, the staff assistance visit provided a unique opportunity to utilize the expertise of Central Region staff along with learning more about the additional contracting tools and understanding of the agency’s goals.”
DCMA Dallas and Central Region staff conducted an in-depth, three-day technical training event, which included 20 briefings from various subject matter experts. The topics included multifunctional progress payment reviews, performance based payments and progress payment risk assessments, and contracts’ past final delivery dates. The group discussed the Integrated Workload Management System, known as IWMS, and the new Procurement Integrated Enterprise Environment, or PIEE, closeout process. Defense Contract Audit Agency personnel gave an overview of audit programs and incurred cost audits. DCMA headquarters staff also participated in the event and provided an agency viewpoint.
“This collaborative effort is an outstanding way for the CMO to share our strengths, weaknesses and opportunities,” said Pailin. “This event allows region staff to share eTools and information technology system updates, and for everyone to share candid dialogue.”
Jason Rathsack, a contract specialist with the Central Region based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, said the event was beneficial, including discussing Vision 2026. Vision 2026 is based on the agency’s strategic plan to become more efficient when supporting customers.
“The primary deep dive topics included progress payments, final delivery dates past 180 days, and the business team concept as a best practice,” said Rathsack. “The DCMA Dallas business team concept was discussed with the potential for being incorporated into the super geo sites (potential new organizations) based on Vision 2026.”
The DCMA Dallas business team was created to build a level of expertise to ensure actions related to DCAA audits were performed in accordance with policy. Similar to the Cost and Pricing Regional Command model, the business team ensures timely dispositioning of contract audit follow-up records, contractor business systems, cost accounting standards determinations and evaluation of forward pricing rates as well as cost savings to the government.
This business team concept allows for other contracting teams to focus on everyday contract administration to include contract closeout, on-time delivery, and cancelling or expiring funds within the CMO. Additionally, the business team includes procurement technicians that service the CMO by performing trusted agent and direct input actions.
Army Col. Sean Imbs, DCMA Dallas commander, said he received positive feedback from the participants.
“The combination staff assistance visit and ACO roundtable, and contract administrator boot camp was a successful learning and communication event,” Imbs said. “The event was an outstanding opportunity for the CMO and agency experts to express concerns, clarify expectations, learn new tools, and disperse current guidance. Based on my observation, the event was well received, and should prepare the contracting community to lean into the agency’s Vision 2026.”
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