All posts by rtownsend

Excellence in contracting

By James Woods

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock District Contracting Division continues to lead the way. Earlier this year the contracting division was presented the Excellence in Contracting District of the Year Award by Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers commanding general.

Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers commanding general presents the Fiscal Year 2014 Excellence in Contracting Awards Program, District of the Year Award to the Little Rock District contracting division.  Accepting the award is SWL Chief of Contracting Sandra Easter.
Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers commanding general presents the Fiscal Year 2014 Excellence in Contracting Awards Program, District of the Year Award to the Little Rock District contracting division. Accepting the award is SWL Chief of Contracting Sandra Easter.

The contracting division led two district-wide Industry Day events that provided an opportunity to coordinate the district’s fiscal year 2014 contracting opportunities with industry, collect strategic and tactical market research, and provide a preview of the fiscal year 2015 program while providing outreach to small business and other strategic partners.

Contracting Division personnel also coordinated and partnered with the Arkansas Procurement Assistance Center to provide training to prospective contractors. Teaming with the Society of American Military Engineers, the team hosted an ice breaker that enhanced government and industry networks.

Attendees at these events were appreciative that the training and ice breaker were made available.

“Out of 18 years of attending various events, this event combined with the SAME ice- breaker was by far my best experience,” one attendee said.

“The strategic and tactical market research gathered at these events has resulted in an average reduction of two weeks to the acquisition cycle time,” Sandra K. Easter, Little Rock District, chief of contracting said. “The district intends to continue this best practice strategic market research event semi-annually.”

Organizing external networking events was not the only task that help the contracting office secure this award.

One of the Contracting Division’s key initiatives was the weekly execution meetings beginning in the fourth quarter of FY14. The Acquisition Tracking System meetings began as a collaborative effort to ensure success of the district’s mission.

The fourth quarter meeting allowed all district personnel visibility in the progress of the program and provides senior leaders sufficient time to engage in staff to ensure resources are available to recover from potential setbacks. This business practice led to the early award of several critical contract actions and the execution of all expiring funds for the customers.

After implementing the well thought out strategies district personnel came together in an unprecedented fashion to complete 1,003 contracting actions that were valued at $416.6M.

Every Kid in a Park kick off at Greers Ferry Lake

by Laurie Driver

The Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District kicked off the “Every Kid in a Park” program at Greers Ferry Lake Sept. 18 with Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Jo-Ellen Darcy and 120 fourth graders from Heber Springs Elementary.

The Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District kicked off the "Every Kid in a Park" program at Greers Ferry Lake with a visit from Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Jo-Ellen Darcy and 120 fourth graders from Heber Springs Elementary. (left to right) Greers Ferry Lake Park Ranger David Moore, Little Rock District Commander Col. Courtney W. Paul and Secretary Jo-Ellen Darcy encourage several students to use the Every Kid in a Park program to get outside and enjoy the national resources that country is so fortunate to have.
The Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District kicked off the “Every Kid in a Park” program at Greers Ferry Lake with a visit from Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Jo-Ellen Darcy and 120 fourth graders from Heber Springs Elementary. (left to right) Greers Ferry Lake Park Ranger David Moore, Little Rock District Commander Col. Courtney W. Paul and Secretary Jo-Ellen Darcy encourage several students to use the Every Kid in a Park program to get outside and enjoy the national resources that country is so fortunate to have.

 

The new initiative gives every child in the United States the chance to explore and learn about America’s great outdoors. It will provide all fourth-grade students and their families with free admission for a full year to more than 2,000 federally-managed sites nationwide.

“We want to do what the President has been encouraging all of us to do – get outside and enjoy the national resources that we’re so fortunate to have in this country, and fourth graders are a good age to start,” said Darcy.

The new initiative allows fourth graders and their families to spend the day at a federal recreation area for free.

A primary goal of the Every Kid in a Park initiative is to bridge the growing disconnect between the next generation and the great outdoors, and to inspire children to become future stewards of our nation’s natural and historic treasures.

“Just like we did today at Greers Ferry Lake the Every Kid in the Park initiative will connect kids to their local parks, so they can continue to take advantage of all that our outdoors has to offer,” said Darcy. “Millions of children visit Army Corps of Engineers parks with their families and classrooms each year, and this initiative will help introduce millions more to the joys of recreation, education and our nation’s water resources.”

Fourth graders can visit the “Get Your Pass” section of the Every Kid in a Park website at www.everykidinapark.gov and complete a fun educational activity to obtain and print a personalized voucher for unlimited use at federal lands and waters for one year. Passes are valid from Sept. 1, through Aug. 31, 2016. The paper voucher can be exchanged for a more durable interagency annual fourth grade pass at certain federal sites. The Every Kid in a Park website also provides information on tips for trip planning and how parents and educators can get involved.