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.
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.