New DoD Agency to Ensure Contract Quality
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
FORT BELVOIR, Va., May 5, 2000 DoD has created a new agency to oversee billions of dollars worth of DoD contracts.
While the Defense Contract Management Agency actually came into being March 31, the ceremonial stand-up happened May 5.
The new agency used to be a major subordinate command of the Defense Logistics Agency when it was known as the Defense Contract Management Command. Jacques Gansler, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, presided at the ceremony here.
"The Defense Contract Management Agency is really on the front lines of our efforts to change the way we do business in the Department of Defense," said Gansler during the ceremony. "This assures our warfighters have the very best equipment at an affordable price."
The agency will continue to "strive for world class performance in defense contracting."
During the ceremony Army Lt. Gen. Henry Glisson cased the colors of the Defense Contract Management Command and Gansler unfurled the colors of the new agency before presenting them to Air Force Maj. Gen. Tim Malishenko, the agency director.
The agency has 13,000 people with 70 offices around the world. The headquarters will remain at Belvoir. The agency oversees 23,000 contractors and more than 350,000 contracts -- worth about $900 billion -- for everything from aircraft to tanks to weapons to spare parts.
"It is one element to award the contract, but after the contract has been awarded, we want to make sure we get quality products, on time, for good value," said Malishenko in a recent interview. "That's the role the Defense Contract Management Agency plays for DoD."
There are few things DoD buys that the agency doesn't have something to do with, Malishenko said. "The military services and defense agencies have the responsibility to buy the products and services they need," he said. "Once they award these contracts they often come to us after they are awarded to make sure that the contractors are delivering quality products on time for good value.
"The only exception is we do not administer shipbuilding," he said.
Service members assigned to Kosovo have the agency to thank for their camps. "The Defense Contract Management Agency supports the warfighter by supporting contingencies worldwide," Malishenko said. "Typically, we're on the first airplane out."
In Kosovo, agency personnel worked with the Army Corps of Engineers and the contractor Brown and Root to build the main U.S. camps. "We went in theater and in a matter of four months what was a wheat field became Camp Bondsteel and Camp Monteith," he said. "For the soldiers working there it means hot food, warm showers, clean clothes and a warm, dry place to sleep. A Kosovo winter without those elements would be one miserable place, so we think we really made a difference."
Malishenko said being a separate agency will make it easier to implement some management reforms. He also expects the agency workload to grow. "As the DoD acquisition budget expands our workload will expand," he said. "We think in the next five years our workload is going to go up by about 25 percent."
He said the agency will lose a small number of personnel slots. "So we are going to have to become more productive and efficient to cover an expanding workload," he said.
Malishenko said the agency's success will depend on listening to customers. "If there is anyone out there who works with DCMA, and you know of a way that we can do better for you, or if you've got an issue you don't think is going right, tell us about it," he said. "That's how we go about making things better."