November 5, 2012
Professor Calvin D. Fogle
Almost all DOD systems are competed at some stage in the acquisition system (we would guess that less than 10% of acquisition programs do not go through a competitive process at least once in their acquisition cycle). Generally, the sequence is: • Define the requirement (determine the mismatch between operational capability--more about this below); • Advertise the need for a product that can satisfy the requirement; • Accept bids from potential suppliers;
• Review proposals and select one or more suppliers,
• Order the product;
• Monitor progress;
• Accept the finished product;
• Review project documentation and pay for the product. This cycle repeats itself one or more times during system development and one or more times during procurement (purchase of a major end item previously developed or available commercially). For large systems, procurement follows a highly demanding DOD-funded development process and the prime manufacturer, almost by necessity, is the developer. In such cases, the competitive steps for a given phase of the acquisition process (listed above) would not be repeated during the procurement phase. Some things that I would change would be the misconception of communication within the industry during acquisition processing. The Federal Government has an obligation to conduct procurements in the most effective, responsible and efficient manner possible. Current market information is very vital as they define the requirements, so that the contracting officers can develop the acquisition strategies, seek opportunities for small businesses, and negotiate contract terms. Industry partners are the best source for this information, so productive interactions is very important and should be encouraged. The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)...