Improving the Army’s Job Order Contracting Program

Job order contracting is an innovative procurement technique designed to provide more responsive facility maintenance and repair and minor construction. It is intended to significantly reduce engineering and procurement lead-times by awarding a competitively bid, firm-fixed-price, indefinite-quantity, multitask contract to a single general contractor. The contract consists of detailed task specifications for a multitude of real property maintenance activities encountered within a specific geographic area.

Job order contracting was implemented Army-wide in 1988, and it has proved a responsive and efficient method for accomplishing quality project work. Additionally, JOC programs have been implemented by public, nonmilitary organizations at the federal, state, and local level. Numerous regulatory and other policy changes have occurred in the JOC programs since they were implemented. These changes vary among the military services and among nondefense organizations.

The U.S. Army tasked the Logistics Management Institute to compare the Army’s JOC program with that of the other services and with nonmilitary organizations and to recommend changes in policies and procedures that would help the Army improve its JOC program.
The JOC program can be improved with realistic processes and methods. We interviewed numerous Army, Navy, and Air Force field activities and nonmilitary activities with diverse organizations, workloads, and geographic areas to identify the best techniques developed by field activities. During the interviews we searched for techniques and procedures that seemed to encourage the most efficient JOC programs and enhanced customer focus.

Specifically, we recommend that the Army do the following:

♦ Require JOC source selection training. All government personnel participating in the JOC source selection process should attend the training. This training would further instruct field personnel on source selection procedures
and best value procurements.

♦ Consider using oral presentations in JOC proposal evaluations. In certain cases they could streamline the selection of the contractor and enable the installation to make a better-informed selection.

♦ Include liquidated damages clauses in Army JOCs. Although rarely assessed, they provide protection to the government for late completion or delivery of the contract work.

♦ Use an award fee or incentive provision clause to motivate JOC contractors. Such incentives are allowed by the Federal Acquisition Regulation and effectively counterbalance liquidated damage provisions.

♦ Allow the use of the R.S. Means Company, Inc., estimating system for Army JOCs. It is affordable, is updated annually, has an expanded list of line items, and has been successfully used by other services and organizations.

♦ Change the Army Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement to allow economic price adjustments for option years, instead of requiring the contractors to propose each year’s coefficients.

♦ Consider the development of Base Operating Support JOCs within the Army.

(The above was taken verbatim from Improving the Army’s “Job Order Contracting Program” CE704R1 September 1997.Jordan W. Cassell. Linda T. Gilday. Logistics Management Institute)

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