DOD orders move to enterprisewide contracting system

Defense Department officials have ordered the department's organizations to shift to a single, enterprisewide contracting writing system and shut down their individual systems.

Developing the Web-based, central system “is critical to the future of contracting writing in DOD,” Richard Ginman, DOD’s director of defense procurement and acquisition policy, wrote in an Aug. 31 memo.

For years, contracting offices across the department have interpreted provisions and clauses from the Federal Acquisition Regulation and DOD’s regulatory supplement with a lot of variation. Ginman said it was a carryover from the days of when contracts were written on paper. The result has been duplication and redundancies in systems that agencies across DOD have built through the years. There are roughly 10 legacy systems used by DOD organizations.

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“It is anticipated that all target DOD and legacy systems performing contract writing functions will utilize this service, rather than develop and maintain similar capabilities within their own applications,” according a document attached to the memo that details the transition.

Officials are planning to base the new system on a service-oriented architecture approach, which provides a Web-based service.

The Air Force will lead the new program because of its experience with building contracting writing systems, such as Standard Procurement System. The transition will happen over several years.

To be uniform, the transition will likely also affect agencies that help DOD with acquisitions, according to the memo.

A component may be able to stay on its own system, but it will have to prove that its current writing system would be advantageous for DOD. Ginman wants dollar figures regarding maintenance of the system and the costs to shift to the enterprisewide system.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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