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Acquisition Assessments: A-123 and the PMR Process Christopher Teti Felicia Cannon Procurement Analyst Procurement An PowerPoint Presentation
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Acquisition Assessments: A-123 and the PMR Process Christopher Teti Felicia Cannon Procurement Analyst Procurement Analyst General Services Administration Office of Governmentwide Policy May 2011. It’s not your Grandfather’s PMR.

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Acquisition Assessments:

A-123 and the PMR Process

Christopher TetiFelicia Cannon

Procurement Analyst Procurement Analyst

General Services Administration

Office of GovernmentwidePolicy

May 2011

it s not your grandfather s pmr
It’s not your Grandfather’s PMR
  • Today’s Procurement Management Review is an evolving process, including:
    • TRANSACTIONAL REVIEWS: This is just the traditional reviews of contract and lease files, but:
      • Expanded in size and scope.
      • Another good word is “Operational.”
    • A-123 REVIEWS. This newer segment is the “Entity Level Review.”
      • Based on OMB Circular A-123, “Management’s Responsibility for Internal Control”
      • Another good word is “Strategic
transactional reviews
  • What the IG Recommended to the PMR Division:
    • Select Files with specific risk areas in mind.
      • We thought: Recovery Act; Year End Actions; Complex Contract Administration; High Dollars.
    • Review more files.
      • We thought: In a PBS Region, review 20 contracts and 20 leases; for MAS, 25 to 35 files.
      • This continues for PBS and MAS this year (AAS is cut back due to numerous reviews by other parties).
transactional reviews1
  • Other Changes in Our Approach:
    • Speaking to the Contracting Officer while on site.
      • We both learn and get to know one another.
      • More background on the contract/lease.
      • An opportunity to provide missing documents that may be sitting on a desk.
    • Using electronic applications:
      • Initial Research in FPDS, eSRS, PPIRS.
      • FAS has some additional opportunities in this area.
transactional reviews2
  • PBS Prospectus Reviews:
    • At least twice a year, we schedule a “contract admin” review of a Prospectus Level construction contract.
    • Prospectus awards are those which, in FY 2010, exceeded $2.79 Million and had a line of their own in the Congressional Budget.
    • This differs from other prospectus reviews by switching attention from the pre-award phase to the contract administration phase.
transactional reviews3
  • We Love our Volunteers from the Regions.
    • They assist us with the Transactional Reviews.
    • What they get out of the deal:
      • A chance to see the activities of other Regions, including Best Practices.
      • A certificate worth 40 hours of continuous education.
      • Our eternal gratitude.
      • See your supervisor if you would like to volunteer.
a 123 reviews
  • Strategic Leadership
  • Internal Controls in the Acquisition Arena
    • following in the path of similar reviews for Finance.
  • What’s the connection between the Leaders and the Soldiers?
  • Where the Transactional Review looks back a year, the A-123 Review can look both backward and forward to future plans.
a 123 reviews1
  • Some of the Issues Addressed:
    • Organizational Location of Acquisition personnel.
    • Warrant Program: who merits them? Are they withdrawn when no longer necessary?
    • Pre-Award Reviews of Contract Files at certain dollar levels.
    • Internal Control: Directions on how to “do it.”
    • Who supervises COs? What are the CO’s critical elements like?
    • How does the Region plan for ongoing training and future human capital?
a 123 reviews the four cornerstones
A-123 REVIEWS: The Four Cornerstones
  • The preceding slide addressed just a few A-123 questions.
  • There are many more that can be discussed during a PMR.
  • These issues are divided into the Four Cornerstones of A-123, so let’s take a look at those.
cornerstone 1 organizational alignment and leadership
Cornerstone 1: Organizational Alignment and Leadership
  • We’ve already spoken of organizational location of acquisition personnel, the identity of their supervisors, and their critical elements.
  • But do the acquisition personnel understand their roles with internal stakeholders (PMs, CORs/COTRs, Building Managers, etc)?
  • For FAS, does the organization train its contractors and client agencies on the use of the Schedules?
cornerstone 1 organizational alignment and leadership1
Cornerstone 1: Organizational Alignment and Leadership
  • What Internal Controls are in place or in development? (Pre-Award Reviews/Panels, PBS Lease Reform, Data Accuracy for FPDS).
  • How are deficiencies in the Internal Control Process rectified?
  • How is training planned, conducted and monitored (for the CO, COTR, PM)?
  • Cuts in Funding: How is this handled? Is in-house training provided?
cornerstone 2 policies and processes
Cornerstone 2: Policies and Processes
  • Communication Issues:
    • Does the acquisition staff partner with internal and external stakeholders to determine end user requirements?
    • Do they provide well-informed business guidance to Requirements personnel on market research, competition, and small business programs?
    • How does the organization share lessons learned and best practices?
cornerstone 2 policies and processes1
Cornerstone 2: Policies and Processes
  • More Communication Issues:
    • Does the PBS Leasing Team collaborate well in advance of an expiring lease?
    • Are solicitations sufficiently clear so that offerors can make informed business decisions on whether to respond? Can offerors clearly perceive performance measures (quality, responsiveness, schedule, cost)?
    • Contractor Performance Evaluations: Are they shared with the contractor and the acquisition workforce?
cornerstone 2 policies and processes2
Cornerstone 2: Policies and Processes
  • Other Issues here:
    • Are Green clauses used in both leases and contracts?
    • How is the Region addressing Lease Reform Procedures and Models?
    • Did the Region meet its Competition Goals? What was the role of the Regional Advocates and Market Research?
    • Are acquisition teams empowered, with clearly defined roles and responsibilities (CO, COTR, PM)? Are they FAC Certified?
cornerstone 3 human capital
Cornerstone 3: Human Capital
  • Senior Leaders and Managers:
    • How are they held accountable for effective management?
    • What methods of employee feedback are used to make improvements? (Off sites, “stairwell meetings).
    • How does management choose the improvements to make?
    • How does the organization validate the results?
cornerstone 3 human capital1
Cornerstone 3: Human Capital
  • Training
    • Is there an intern program with trainers and mentors?
    • How are journeymen continually trained?
    • Do supervisors without an acquisition background receive FAC-C training?
    • How are the training programs evaluated? And by whom?
    • What improvements follow?
    • Does everyone have a detailed IDP?
cornerstone 3 human capital2
Cornerstone 3: Human Capital
  • Size and Nature of Workforce.
    • Is there a strategic human capital plan, including acquisition?
    • What is the appropriate size of the acquisition workforce, now and in the future?
    • How is workload tracked and evaluated (short term, long term)?
    • What is the attrition rate for the acquisition workforce?
    • Are acquisition positions difficult to fill?
cornerstone 4 information management and stewardship
Cornerstone 4: Information Management and Stewardship
  • At one time, this Section was considered entirely “National” (for example, STAR and Comprizon are national applications).
    • This meant we did not assess Cornerstone 4 during Regional PMRs.
    • However, for the PMRs conducted this year, we’ve added some Regionally-oriented areas.
cornerstone 4 information management and stewardship1
Cornerstone 4: Information Management and Stewardship
  • Some examples:
    • Accuracy, Review and Validation of FPDS Data.
    • Does the Region regularly conduct and make use of spend analyses for key goods and services?
    • Are all proposed Lease Construction Projects submitted to Central Office for approval prior to issuance of the Request for Lease Proposal?
    • How does the Region help ensure that hardware and software is reliable, secure and user friendly?
how do regions respond to the a 123 review
How Do Regions Respond to the A-123 Review?
  • Regions submit basic data, such as:
    • Organizational Charts and Warrant Lists
    • Internal Controls: Memorandums on local policies and procedures
  • Meetings are held with FAS Management, PBS Contracts Management and PBS Leasing Management to discuss Cornerstone issues.
  • Local Management submits a completed A-123 Questionnaire.
what s the practical outcome of a pmr
What’s the Practical Outcome of a PMR?
  • After the PMR Field Trip:
    • The two separate teams which conducted the Transactional and A-123 Reviews compare notes.
    • Generally, strengths and weaknesses on one side relate to similar strengths and weaknesses on the other.
    • A Draft Report is sent to the Region for comment and discussion before the Final Report is issued.
    • Final Reports include “Action Plan” templates. It is here that the Region can insert its suggested approaches to resolving Findings.
what s the practical outcome of a pmr1
What’s the Practical Outcome of a PMR?
  • After the Final Report:
    • The Report is shared with Central Office Acquisition Management and the IG’s Office.
    • The Region submits its Action Plans.
    • Over time, the Region documents completion of these Plans (issuance of new procedures, training, “fixing” files).
    • The PMR team reviews the completion documentation and closes the PMR.
what s the strategic outcome of a pmr
What’s the Strategic Outcome of a PMR?
  • Identification of Strengths and Best Practices
  • Highlighting Problem Areas and Planning Their Resolution
  • Building Continuity in Processes Across GSA
  • Determining How Effectively the Acquisition Workforce is Managed
  • Identification of Training Needs
  • Reporting upward, each June, to the Senior Assessment Team (SAT):
    • General national results (not by Region)
the future of pmrs whom do we visit
The Future of PMRs – Whom Do We Visit?
  • Traditionally, we have reviewed half of the Agency’s purchasing activities each year.
  • We are gradually moving toward a situation where we will review stronger organizations every three years; stable organizations every two; and tentative organizations on an annual basis. (The latter are briefer revisits the second time around.)
  • In this way, we would review higher risk locations more frequently.
the future of pmrs what do we look at
The Future of PMRs – What Do We Look At?
  • For FAS/AAS: We have already moved to a model where, in Fiscal Year 2011, we review only key risk actions in the procurement cycle.
  • For PBS and FAS/MAS: We will follow in Fiscal Year 2012, once we complete our two-year baseline review of all Regions.
  • In this way, we review higher risk activities more closely.
the pmrs for fiscal year 2011
The PMRs for Fiscal Year 2011
  • FAS Office of Personal Property Management, Sales Program Division – Nov 2010
  • Rocky Mountain Region – Jan 2011
  • National Capital Region – Feb 2011
  • PBS Headquarters – Feb 2011
  • Northwest/Arctic Region – March 2011
  • FAS Office of General Supplies & Services/Office of Acquisition Management – March 2011
the pmrs for in fiscal year 2011
The PMRs for in Fiscal Year 2011
  • FAS COWP Review, DC – March 2011
  • Great Lakes Region – April 2011
  • FAS Office of ITS – Center for IT Schedule Programs; and the Office of Travel, Motor Vehicles and Card Services – April 2011
  • New England Region – April 2011
  • Upcoming: Heartland Region – May 2011
  • Upcoming: PBS Southeast Sunbelt Region – June 2011
some websites for late night reading
Some Websites for Late Night Reading:
  • OMB Circular A-123, “Management’s Responsibility for Internal Control,” December 21, 2004:

  • OFPP Memo, “Conducting Acquisition Assessments under OMB Circular A-123,” May 21, 2008:

some key points of contact
Some Key Points of Contact
  • Procurement Management Review Division:
    • PBS: Shirley Rohmer, 940-748-2785
    • PBS: Chris Teti, 215-446-2851
    • PBS: Frank Sharshel, 816-926-5535
    • PBS: Kathy Rifkin, 816-823-2170
    • PBS: Carol Lautzenheiser, 817-978-6165
    • FAS: Gil Avanzado, 202-821-9867
    • FAS: Suzanne Winnard, 202-208-7279
    • FAS: Felicia Cannon, 253-347-9701