By Capt. Richard McCarthy, SC, USN, NAVSUP N74 Division Director, Naval Supply Systems Command
Our NAVSUP and Supply Corps officer contracting expertise are in great demand within the Pentagon. The Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV), Navy Secretariat, and N1 Manpower, Personnel, Training, and Education (MPT&E) Enterprise are seeking our help in improving their staff’s ability to generate and execute contract requirements. These activities spend over $100 million per year on professional expertise and services the Navy either lacks or cannot staff. The Navy requires expert contrac ting support for services in multiple areas ranging from our unique studies to implementing the visions for our 21st century Sailors. Procurement of these high visibility and complex services depend on meticulous requirements development.
In answering the call to support, NAVSUP is standing up a new Pentagon Contracting Liaison Office (NAVSUP CLO) as a division (N74) of the NAVSUP Contracting Directorate (N7). The CLO will initially be comprised of a DAWIA Level III certified Navy captain (O6), one GS-15 and two GS-14 1102s. The primary mission will be to act as the liaison officer between Navy Secretariat, OPNAV, and MPT&E Enterprise and Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Norfolk contracting office. The CLO’s specific efforts will be to optimize customer efforts in developing and managing contract requirements and generate contracting efficiencies for FLC Norfolk’s contracting office. FLC Norfolk detachment Philadelphia is the primary activity charged with performing contract award functions for the Navy’s Echelon I activities. The vision of the effort is to be the Navy Secretariat’s, OPNAV’s, and MPT&E Enterprise’s trusted contracting partner, while also acting as FLC Norfolk contracting office’s trusted agent that will facilitate and assist FLC Norfolk in achieving greater effectiveness and efficiency in contract award, administration, and oversight. The CLO will assist customers in defining “what” they want to acquire via a contract while NAVSUP FLC Norfolk detachment Philadelphia will continue to determine “how” best to meet those needs contractually.
Ultimately, the responsibility for determining the scope and executing an effort are the responsibility of the requiring activity. But, too often staffs are overwhelmed, undermanned, or have high rates of personnel turnover, causing requirements development and management execution challenges. This new CLO will be uniquely postured to provide continual training and communication on how to develop and manage requirements, while serving as a one-stop ‘boots-on-the-ground’ shop with a direct line of communication back to NAVS regarding issues of strategic importance. One hope is that the CLO will effect early coordination with the Navy Secretariat, OPNAV, and MPT&E to ensure adequate lead time to accomplish contract awards.
Specific functions the NAVSUP CLO will perform:
- Provide assistance in completing performance work statements, market research, conducting independent cost estimates, and conducting contract oversight.
- Provide contracting officer representative (COR) training, COR advice, and assistance regarding invoicing and documenting contractor performance.
- Provide onsite coordination while participating in governance, tracking/planning for recurring services.
- Communicate and collaborate with all applicable stakeholders.
There is no substitute for senior DAWIA level III contracting (1306Q or 1306R) Navy Supply Corps officers working hand-in-hand with our Navy civilian contracting 1102s to achieve positive outcomes for our Navy and DoD as a whole. Synergy between a Supply Corps officer’s operational and contracting expertise is unique and generates a level of credibility with our line counterparts and customers that affords us the opportunity to be effective in working with customers, as they generate and execute their requirements, and with industry in determining what industry can provide and at what price.
The value the NAVSUP contracting community (Navy officer 1306s and civilian 1102s) brings to the table, puts us in high demand at the highest levels in the Navy. Contracting within NAVSUP continues to be a critical core competency.