Organization: NAVSUP, NRCC Bahrain
Team Name: NRCC Bahrain Fleet Support Team
Related Acquisition Topic(s): Acquisition Practices Streamlining, Commercial Practices, Performance Based Acquisition, Performance Specs and Standards
Naval Regional Contracting Center (NRCC) Detachment Bahrain made a significant contribution to military readiness through exemplary acquisition innovation in the award of the Navy's Persian Gulf Bahrain Husbanding Services contract. The results of this effort were positively tested during naval activities supporting Operation Desert Fox. Contract N68171-99-D-A001 for husbanding services in Bahrain was awarded on 14 October 1998 by NRCC Naples Detachment Bahrain. While processing this five-year, $31.1 million procurement, the team fully embraced and incorporated the concepts of acquisition reform in spite of the difficulties associated with making this philosophical acquisition transition in an overseas environment. The resulting contract provides for improved port services, reduced contract administration, ease of use for warfighters, and documented saving of $3,877,000 over its five-year life.
The contract contains a totally revamped, performance-based, Statement of Work (SOW) and incorporates requirements that were previously covered by seven separate contracts. By combining all fleet support requirements into one contract, the warfighters in this Southwest Asia AOR can now conduct business better and faster. Dealing with one contract vice seven has made the logistics of port services in Bahrain much less cumbersome. Additionally, contract administration costs at NRCC Detachment Bahrain have been reduced. This reduction in administrative costs is documented through an FY 1999 three-person (15%) attrition reduction in acquisition personnel at NRCC Detachment Bahrain, while contract actions in terms dollars and volume are expected to increase.
Under the new contract, visiting fleet units have better visibility of port service costs. Each unit readily determines that they only pay for port services actually provided at competitive prices. Through use of the NRCC Naples' Cost Reporting and Forecasting Tool (CRAFT) and by requiring the contractor to provide sewage flow meters, NRCC Detachment Bahrain dramatically improved the US Navy's monitoring capability of husbanding and port services costs. This improved monitoring will result in decreased costs that are as yet unable to be estimated, but in the first month of the contract resulted in a $15,000 refund to the US Navy. These cost-preventative measures were incorporated into the contract without a corresponding increase in the contract price, thereby resulting in a higher quality contract.
The Statement of Work (SOW) under the prior husbanding contract was approximately one hundred pages long, while the SOW under the current contract, notwithstanding including the requirements of six other contracts, is now less than forty pages long. Most importantly, if needed, the visiting peacekeeper can use our comprehensive pricing schedule (formerly known as Section B of standard Government contracts) on a stand-alone basis, since we've included critical ordering and descriptive information within this abridged (15-page) section.
A dramatic 60 % decrease in the acquisition lead-time was achieved for this procurement by conducting comprehensive market research prior to issuing the solicitation. Previous procurement lead-times for husbanding services contracts over 1,000,000 had averaged 371 days. The $31 million Bahrain husbanding services contract was completed in a remarkable 153 days. The solicitation and evaluation phases were streamlined through the use of Oral Presentations, which the Government reserved the right to conduct only if needed. The team evaluated past performance information using locally prepared, contractor friendly, forms included with the solicitation. Industry complimented the reduced content of our easy-to-understand solicitation. Historically, no more than three proposals were received under our husbanding service solicitations. Our streamlined solicitation and pre-proposal conference resulted in the receipt of six timely proposals, all of which fully complied with solicitation requirements.
The team achieved significant contract cost savings. These savings are estimated at $730,000 for the first year and $3,877,000 over the five-year life of the contract (spreadsheets are available to compare prior and new contract prices). In addition to these cost savings, the Navy is receiving improved services, especially in the areas of health and safety. Under one of the prior seven port services contracts, electrical shore power was provided by leased pier mounted generators. These generators emitted unhealthy sound levels as noted by the Environmental Preventative Medical Unit (EPMU). Our new contract enforces a performance requirement of less than an 84-decibel noise level; meaning Sailors topside on the ship no longer must wear ear protection. Additionally, the new contract requires electrical power be provided by barge-mounted generator units that minimize vehicle traffic on the pier. The reduced pier traffic improves anti-terrorism, force protection measures. Decreased traffic on the pier is also instrumental in slowing down the physical degradation of the pier.
Further, as result of consolidating electrical shore power and other ancillary requirements under the husbanding contract, the U.S. Navy has gained access to a power barge, which is owned and operated by our husbanding contractor. This power barge is a one-of-a kind piece of equipment that includes refrigeration space, tooling workshops, berthing spaces, cranes, electrical power generators, steam producing units, water treatment plant, submarine support equipment and fire fighting equipment. This mobile barge can be used at pierside or anchorage. Historically, use of this barge was cost prohibitive, but now the majority of services provided by the barge are competitively pre-priced and available under the contract. The capabilities of this barge proved critical to the logistics planning for Operation Desert Fox. Specialized, one-time, services can be obtained from our husbanding contractor at much lower prices since the majority of the operating costs for this unique barge are amortized within the various fleet support items contained in the husbanding contract. We had this capability fully available during contingency operations at no additional cost to the US Navy. The synergy gained by combining the seven previous contracts resulted in lower costs and improved service. The results of this acquisition innovation were effectively put to test during Operation Desert Fox. Through this contract, we efficiently loaded out and cared for ships exceeding five times our normal port visit throughput.
Through the use of innovative acquisition reform techniques, we were able to achieve significant price savings and reduced contract lead-time that positively impact the readiness of the Naval Forces stationed in the Gulf.