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    Building the perfect fish tank

    Building the perfect fish tank

    Photo By Nick D'Amario | Defense Contract Management Agency and Defense Contract Audit Agency representatives...... read more read more



    Story by Nick D'Amario 

    Defense Contract Management Agency

    FORT LEE, Va. - Joan Sherwood professes simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, and she is sponsoring a collaborative effort between Defense Contract Management Agency, Defense Contract Audit Agency and other department representatives to prove her point.

    “For a future business capability, we are seeking to model the proverbial fish tank, transparent and filled with all the information needed to plan and transact our pricing, negotiations and business processes-related workload,” said Sherwood, DCMA Contracts Cost and Pricing Policy Division director.

    “Our methodology, called Business Process Reengineering, is a Lean Six Sigma analysis approach which focuses on a ground-up review of the efficient and inefficient aspects of current capabilities,” she added. “The objective is to propose only necessary and cost-effective solutions for the tracking of workflows within an organization.”

    At issue are less-than-perfect exchanges of information between DCMA and DCAA, according to Sherwood. These are impacting the agency’s ability to effectively plan work, and track and resolve items such as final overhead rates and disclosure statement revisions.

    “Ultimately, this failure in the exchange of information can cause us to not complete required process steps within the six-year period of the statute of limitations,” said Sherwood. “We lose money to which the government may be entitled when we fumble the hand-off or lose track of the football altogether.”

    Under the Contract Disputes Act, the government is subject to the same six-year statute of limitations as government contractors. Government claims require refunds for defective pricing, overpayments, money owed due to changes in Cost Accounting Standards or for including unallowable costs in billings to the government.

    If a claim is not submitted within six years after accrual of the claim, the Boards of Contract Appeals and the Court of Federal Claim lack jurisdiction, and the government’s (or contractor’s) claim will never get its day in court.

    “The current plan is for the team to hold monthly meetings to explore current efficiencies and inefficiencies,” said Sherwood. “Ultimately, this will allow for streamlining, synchronizing and expediting data flow and data access via one solitary, comprehensive source capable of meeting both agencies’ needs regarding contractor business-related deliverables for which we request audits.”

    Sponsoring the BPR endeavor are Sherwood and Kevin Conneen, Business Processes, Analysis and Development Division director. Ryan Kidd, DCMA contract specialist and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, and Pamela Talbott, contract specialist, are facilitating the meetings.

    Six meetings are scheduled between June and October to explore the issues and develop the way ahead for a redesign of workflow and processes. Kidd will ensure LSS precepts are applied in the redesign model to be presented to DCMA’s Information Technology directorate toward developing a comprehensive, interactive tool based on the collaborative effort.

    “I cannot overemphasize the importance of this effort for DCMA, DCAA and other stakeholders,” said Tim Callahan, DCMA Contracts executive director. “There are millions of taxpayer dollars at risk. We need streamlined processes and tools to help us track and take timely action to preserve the government's rights. This BPR initiative will greatly facilitate our efforts."



    Date Taken: 08.12.2014
    Date Posted: 09.11.2014 13:31
    Story ID: 141815
    Location: FORT LEE, VA, US 

    Web Views: 491
    Downloads: 0