Richmond, Va. –
Like a well-run restaurant serving thousands of people, Defense Logistics Agency finds its most critical projects require a multitude of cooks in the kitchen.
To ensure a project is fully funded and eyes are on the process from the top down, April Weaver consolidates funding streams as often as possible, such as the current agreement to consolidate DLA Aviation funding streams for Naval Supply Systems Command.
A support agreement is a binding document describing specific goods and services in which reimbursement may or may not be exchanged. Support agreements include general terms and conditions, performance-based agreements, memorandums of agreement, memorandums of understanding, formula pricing agreement, etc.
Weaver, who serves as DLA Aviation’s primary support agreement manager in the Command Programs Division of the Command Support Directorate, said DLA Aviation is consolidating agreements wherever it can.
“When consolidating, we look at the highest [command] level possible at which our trading partners are willing to execute the agreement. With our high-level trading partner bi-monthly meetings, navy headquarters has stated they would agree to complete agreements at the major command, or MAJCOM levels when navy is the seller,” she explained.
The clear benefit to DLA Aviation of working within consolidated support agreements is that the total numbers of agreement are reduced, Weaver said.
“The concept is that we have multiple, military interdepartmental purchase requests, also known as MIPRs, being tied to one agreement when there is a reimbursable requirement. Every MIPR, regardless of inbound or outbound, must have a correlating agreement,” she said.
With this consolidation, Weaver said the expected completion date moves further out as the level of execution moves up. “The higher we coordinate the agreement the longer it takes to process to execution,” she said.
“By creating the agreement at the NAVSUP level, we are consolidating multiple current agreements as well as those that are not in place yet; therefore, reducing the numbers of agreement within our database. In the end, this streamlines our process while meeting the mandated requirements for G-Invoicing,” she said. “We based our consolidation on the current agreements for these services, just as we did with the Naval Air Systems Command, and then took it further to include all the outbound MIPRs processed to NAVSUP from DLA Aviation.”
As described by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and U.S. Treasury, G-Invoicing is the auditable answer for all reimbursable exchange between federal agencies. In short, G-Invoicing is the government’s long-term sustainable solution for buy/sell transactions and will manage the receipt and acceptance of general terms and conditions agreements, orders and performance. It also will initiate fund settlement.
Weaver said DLA Aviation currently holds 150 executed agreements with more than 30 in the pipeline and these numbers continue to grow.
Stakeholders in a consolidation effort are both current and future service providers as well as recipients.
“For both [the DLA] enterprise and DLA Aviation’s stakeholders, we work with all types of trading partners ranging from [Defense Department], federal, whole of government, private vendors, state, etc.,” she said.
Weaver emphasized that each agreement has its own unique requirements that drives the completion date. “Depending on the type of agreement, level of negotiation, delegation level, etc., completion dates are never guaranteed or promised, as it is impossible to foresee.
Consolidation comes with its own challenges, such as a longer processing time frame.
“It takes time to gather the initial evidentiary matter [any documentation that supports an agreement], then get the agreement vetted through all stakeholders, and determine the delegation level,” Weaver said. “There is an additional lag in time for processing if the agreement is required to be signed by DLA headquarters. Lastly, we cannot combine the inbound and outbound agreement efforts, so there is still a level of separation we must maintain.”
Though the current consolidation program is still in its infancy, Weaver said DLA Aviation has seen successful with previous efforts, including the execution of an over-arching agreement for first article testing with U.S. Army Redstone Test Center, Huntsville Alabama, which included DLA Aviation, DLA Land and Maritime and DLA Troop Support.