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DoD Announces Single Process Initiative Policy

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 5, 1996 – DoD announced a policy designed to implement a single process initiative. This will lead to use of common processes and performance specifications on existing defense contracts.

Defense Secretary William J. Perry said by using a block change modification approach, the single process initiative will consolidate or eliminate specifications and standards in all contracts on a facility-wide basis.

 "Our principal acquisition reform initiatives in this area thus far were focused on new contracts," said Perry. "This single process initiative is significant in that it impacts existing contracts."

Perry said contractors are using several different formats or specifications for similar operations. This is due to differing requirements in various contracts. The secretary said this approach is inefficient, leading to increased cost and administrative workload for both the contractor and the government.

DoD will not realize the full benefits of it's specifications and standards policy until all contracts in a facility have been converted. Therefore, the process to make the changes to those contracts must occur as quickly as possible, officials said.

They said a streamlined approach is vital to avoid unnecessary paperwork and costly contractor proposal preparation. However, adequate safeguards must be in place to ensure receipt of consideration from the contractor, when appropriate.

The focus of the change is plant-wide, rather than isolated to one program or product. This means the defense contract in-plant personnel will play key roles in facilitating the process. Since the changes will impact all the programs and products that facility produces, the "customer" community of program managers and buying commands must be consulted.  DoD recognizes implementing this policy will cause contractors to incur some transition costs that will offset short-term savings. Perry said since this period of offset savings may exceed the life of most existing contracts, net savings can be reasonably expected only on longer-term, fixed-price contracts.

Therefore, Defense Contracting Management Command will analyze the extent of the change and the remaining life of existing contracts. This will identify contracts saving the government money or where the government could get refunds. All other contracts may be modified based upon the initial analysis without the requirement for contractors to prepare detailed cost proposals, an expensive and time-consuming process.

Defense officials said benefits of this action are many. It will result in more efficient, consistent and stable processes, with greater ease of contract administration for both contractor and government, and savings for the taxpayer.

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