BY LT. MATTHEW LORGE, SC, USN, NAVSUP FLEET LOGISTICS CENTER BAHRAIN
Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Bahrain conducted the first test of Off-Ship Bill Pay (OSBP) procedures for aircraft carrier and cruiser port visits during the week ending July 25 at Khalifa Bin Salman Port, Bahrain.
The new procedures take the responsibility for the ordering and payment of husbanding services, such as tug boats, trash removal, crane support, and fresh water, off of the ship’s supply department and places it at shore activities. This frees up shipboard personnel for other tasks and provides Navy leaders with more oversight of the husbanding process.
In order to conduct the OSBP test, Code 200, the contracting department of NAVSUP FLC Bahrain, executed a stand-alone husbanding service provider (HSP) contract and issued task orders valued at $672,000 for the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and $124,000 for the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60). While tests have been done on smaller units in the past year, this is the first time an aircraft carrier or cruiser has been tested.
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USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71)
Capt. Sean M. Egge, commanding officer of NAVSUP FLC Bahrain, discussed the importance of the OSBP test and what it means to the Fleet.
“The new off-ship bill pay procedures will be a major change from how port visits are conducted Fleet wide,” said Egge. “Not only will the procedures relieve busy shipboard personnel of the administrative tasks associated with port visit costs, they will provide centralized oversight over the process and ensure the taxpayers are getting the best value for their money.”
The new procedures require the ship and vendor to submit their final invoices into Inventory, Receipt, Acceptance and Property Transfer (iRAPT), a secure web based system for electronic invoicing, receipt, and acceptance. A contracting officer’s representative validates that the two sets of invoices match and submits the accepted invoices for electronic payment by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service.
James Cutler, a COR for U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), explained how the test was being conducted.
“The test is going well so far,” said Cutler. “The ships have been doing a great job validating the services they have received via the circle, sign, and date process. Once the port visits are completed, we will review the receipts and ensure they match the final invoices submitted by the vendor.”
Upon completion of the tests in the NAVCENT area of responsibility, along with those in other regions around the world, the next step is modifying the Navy’s existing HSP contracts to allow for payment using this electronic process. This will standardize the way the Navy does business while at the same time making it easier for the vendor to receive payment for services they have provided.
“Executing the test contract for USS Theodore Roosevelt and USS Normandy was an important milestone in the off-ship bill payment process” said Salah Hani, a contracting officer at Code 200. “We will review the results of these tests and incorporate any lessons learned into our HSP business processes.”