Acquisition regulations don’t come with CliffsNotes, so members of a High Performance Team wrote 21 pages interpreting them and won a Department of Defense level award June 28 for their work.
The HPT members from Hanscom Air Force Base and several other major acquisition bases came together to better navigate what is commonly called Federal Acquisition Regulation 16.5. Their findings generated a 21-page Guiding Principles document, incorporated into Air Force Materiel Command’s Informational Guidance this past August and winning a 2017 Department of Defense Value Engineering Achievement Team Award. The tips laid out in the team’s document can reduce acquisition cycle times, saving money while getting products to warfighters faster.
“Many teams spend valuable time, money and resources using formal FAR 15.3 source selection procedures because there is so much stipulation, training and sample documentation available,” said Crystal Foster, chief of contracting for Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System Recapitalization team, who was one of two Hanscom members on the HPT. “Less experienced acquisition professionals gravitate toward that. They want specific direction and rules, but if they just took a closer look and use ‘broad discretion’ in FAR part 16.5, they would have more power over the process.”
Those with Air Force network access can read the final product here. To produce it, the HPT combed through 57,000 contract actions. By the team’s own estimate, those who use tactics outlined in the guide can save an average of seven weeks per order. If every program that could use these acquisition methods did so, it would streamline the process for 15 cents of every dollar the Air Force spends, for a total of $9 billion.
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