Four honored for performance-based contracting success

As agencies continue to struggle in using the performance-based contracting approach, four federal employees proved it is not as hard as it looks. And the General Services Administration earlier this week honored their accomplishments.

Lt. Col. Curtis Frost and Lt. Col. Maxine Paulson received the inaugural Governmentwide Award for Excellence in Performance Based Service Acquisition for the Defense Department. GSA sponsored the award along with Acquisition Solutions Inc. of Chantilly, Va., at the Federal Acquisition Conference and Expo in Arlington, Va.

Frost and Paulson developed a performance-based contract for all the Air Force Pentagon Communication Agency work. It saved the agency $190 million by freeing up 390 employees.

GSA gave Brendon Johnson, a contracting officer at the Commerce Department's Patent and Trademark Office, the first ever Governmentwide Award for Excellence in Performance Based Service Acquisition for Civilian Agencies. The award was sponsored in part by the Performance Institute of Arlington, Va.

Johnson received the honor because he awarded a performance-based contract for operations and customer support at PTO to an 8(a) disabled-veteran-owned company.

GSA gave the first ever Excellence in Performance Based Service Acquisition Award to Christopher Hamm. The GSA employee managed the Environmental Protection Agency's $700 million Information Technology Solutions-Environmental Systems Engineering contract.

Hamm used the performance based approach to develop specific outcomes that the vendors had to meet in their proposals. EPA hired Lockheed Martin Corp. in January and agency officials expect to see a 30 percent cost reduction and sevenfold increase in efficiency.

'These awardees saved billions of dollars for the government that could pay the salaries, retirements and help with the grandchildren of everyone in this room,' said David Drabkin, GSA's associate administrator for acquisition policy, at the conference.

GSA also gave William Vance of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington the 2004 Ida M. Ustad Award for his work on the single largest shipbuilding contract by the Navy.

Vance, a Navy procurement officer for 10 years, received a $5,000 prize for a sole-source contract to buy six submarines over the next four years worth approximately $8.7 billion using an innovative contracting approach. The approach allows the Navy to change how the contract works if funding from Congress comes through more quickly than expected.

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