DOD pushes for standardized billing and payment apps

DOD pushes for standardized billing and payment apps

Diedre Lee

After a spurt of contract payment problems, Defense Department procurement director Deidre Lee has reminded DOD agency chiefs and acquisition officials to continue efforts to improve the billing and payment process'especially with a mind toward electronic transactions.

'The way we structure contract line items must be consistent with the way the contractor will ship and bill for the items or payment delays may result,' Lee said in a June 11 memorandum.

The need for restructuring is especially crucial as Defense continues to automate its procurement processes, she said.

'We cannot afford to use scarce human resources to manually reconcile inconsistent information or to search for missing information,' Lee said. 'The information going into our automated systems must be complete and accurate in order for contractors to be paid correctly.'

Lee pointed to the DOD EMall, a Web portal for e-commerce, as a place contracting officers can go to see if what they need is already available.

The memo comes just a few weeks after DOD asked for input on a proposal to amend the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement to require contractors to submit invoices electronically.

DOD must add the new clause to implement Section 1008 of the fiscal 2001 National Defense Authorization Act.

The proposal would require vendors to submit invoices via the Web Invoicing System run by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service; the Wide-Area Workflow Receipts and Acceptance site run by the Defense Information Systems Agency, or using American National Standards Institute' electronic-data interchange formats.

The department will accept comments through July 30. Visit emissary.acq.osd.mil/dar/dfars.nsf/pubcomm and select 2002-D001 from the drop-down menu for the case number field.

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