DOD's new paperless buying system gets first use in Army

The Army Space and Missile Defense Command contract office in Huntsville, Ala., is the
first Defense Department organization to fully implement the department’s paperless
procurement system.


The command, which spends almost $2 billion each year on R&D and services, declared
the Standard Procurement System fully operational late last month after DOD’s Office
of Operational Test and Evaluation reviewed the installation.


Paul Hoeper, the assistant secretary of the Army for research, development and
acquisition, was in Huntsville last week for the official SPS unveiling.


SPS, managed by the Naval Information Systems Management Center, will give DOD a single
paperless procurement system. SPS will replace the deluge of paper forms the department
has used for contract writing, administration, finance and auditing.


“We are the first ones in the entire Defense Department to go fully operational
with SPS, which means we no longer have legacy systems at work,” said Mark Lumer,
director of contracts at the Army command.


Deputy Defense secretary John Hamre last year directed the services and DOD agencies to
create and install a paper-free acquisition process by 2000.


DOD’s Major Automated Information Systems Review Committee last year approved the
first of three incremental SPS software enhancements for deployment at 137 contracting
sites departmentwide.


SPS merges DOD’s two main procurement functions: contract award and
administration. Procurement Desktop-Defense (PD2) software from American Management
Systems Inc. of Fairfax, Va., serves as the core application of SPS. It lets DOD offices
within the Army, Navy, Air Force and Defense agencies swap data.


DOD pays for the PD2 software and users pay for the hardware and installation.


The Army Space and Missile Defense Command spent $3 million to implement SPS at its
contracting department in Huntsville and a small satellite office in Colorado Springs,
Colo.


The command bought a new standalone Compaq ProLiant 6000 server with four 200-MHz
Pentium Pro processors, 1G of RAM, five 9.1G hard drives and Microsoft Windows NT. The
Army also bought 67 350-MHz Millenia PCs from Micron Electronics Inc. of Nampa, Idaho. The
Millenias have Pentium


II processors, 64M of RAM and 6G hard drives.


AMS beat Dyncorp of Reston, Va., for the 10-year, $241 million indefinite-delivery,
indefinite-quantity SPS contract.


Although the initial software release only supports about 45 percent of DOD’s
basic procurement functions, Defense expects 100 percent functionality at more than 800
contracting sites by 2000.


SPS will save between $30 million and $60 million annually, Army officials said. Much
of the money will be saved through interest on late contract payments and unmatched
disbursements, Army officials said.


“The advantages have already been seen,” Lumer said. “We’ve cut our
lead times significantly—25 percent to 33 percent reductions—because folks can
look at these solicitation or contract packages concurrently rather than
consecutively.”


SPS also will let the Army command eliminate its massive file room that houses hundreds
of pounds of paper, Lumer said. A 2,000-page contract can now be stored on a disk, he
said.   

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