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GSA Expo 2009 Craig Curtis Contracts & COTR Career Manager Department of Homeland Security Im a COTR, What Do I Do Now?

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Presentation on theme: "GSA Expo 2009 Craig Curtis Contracts & COTR Career Manager Department of Homeland Security Im a COTR, What Do I Do Now?"— Presentation transcript:

1 GSA Expo 2009 Craig Curtis Contracts & COTR Career Manager Department of Homeland Security Im a COTR, What Do I Do Now?

2 2 Im a COTR, What Do I Do Now? Department of Homeland Security June 2009 Contact Information: Craig Curtis

3 3 Outline About DHS DHS COTR Nuances Attributes of the Successful COTR Nomination Appointment DHS COTR Training 1 st Actions Daily Responsibilities Pre Award Post Award Contract Administration COTR Donts Closeout COTR Management Questions Recruiting… DHS is HIRING!

4 4 About DHS From 22 component organizations, formed March 1, 2003 Mission: we will lead the unified national effort to secure America. We will prevent and deter terrorist attacks and protect against and respond to threats and hazards to the nation. We will ensure safe and secure borders, welcome lawful immigrants and visitors, and promote the free-flow of commerce. Prior to the creation of the Department, Homeland security functions were traditionally dispersed among various Federal agencies and 1,000s of 1 st responder groups across America One corporate umbrella Transportation Security Agency (TSA) United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) United States Coast Guard Federal Emergency Management Agency United States Secret Service Federal Law Enforcement Training Center United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Along with 14 others Directors priority: Establish One DHS

5 5 DHS COTR Nuances Lust to Dust 70% services contracting There is disparity in how COTRs perform at each of the Components COTRs are drawn from any and all career fields Filling vacancies in procurement across the Department COTR serves as interface between program and contracts The COTR works closely in the requirements process Supplements the CO Due to close working relationship with Contracts, must ensure that they do not cross the line into COs responsibilities Easily can be a full time responsibility There is a strong desire to work in a COTR capacity

6 6 Attributes of the Successful COTR Someone with strong technical skills to represent the requiring office Basic familiarity with procurementthe more the better but lack is not a show-stopper People skills Technical expertise Quick study Availability Proactive Self-starter Strong communicator Organized Good at documenting & keeping records Empathetic –Two sides to every story –Enough blame to share…

7 7 Nomination Program / Program Office nominates DHS appropriations law requires COTRs receive required training before their salary can be paid (Title V. Section 523) To serve as a intermediary between Contracts and Program Manager / Requiring Office Recommend / nominate an alternate in the event primary is unavailable for extended periods… this would depend upon program / contract –Specify when the alternate should engage– to avoid confusion

8 8 Appointment Contracting Officer appoints Bilateral agreement- Formal appointment by CO with COTR written acceptance. Details authority delegated to the COTR and cites responsibilities including: Effective date… no expiration Appointment should remain in place for full term of the procurement Appointment must be revoked if not current in annual and biennial training requirements Must complete Confidential Financial Disclosure (SF 450) within 30 days upon appointment and then annually Appointment responsibilities delegated to the HCAs / ACMs as delegated, at each of our Components Documentation kept at each of the DHS Components Effective the appointment, HCA, ACM and COTR are responsible for continuous learning / skills currency training

9 9 DHS COTR Training We train IAW Federal Acquisition Institute requirements and to Defense Acquisition University and Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) course standards Ongoing certification requirements are to a 40 hour biennial requirement (22 technical and 18 business) Currency training is to the 9 technical and 14 business OFPP-established competencies DHS strongly recommends 12 hours annual currency training Mandatory 1 hour procurement ethics annually HCA / ACM, as delegated, is encouraged to tailor these training opportunities to meet the technical and business requirements as well as that which will help the requirements / program office. There is considerable discretion to tailor FAI, DAU, private vendors and other Federal Government agencies offer a rich variety of online and resident courses that meet or exceed essential competencies and that also offer other needed and very worthwhile supplemental and reference information HCA / ACM, as delegated, validates the training and then documents the COTRs official Component COTR Training / Appointment Record DHS has 260 Classes scheduled for ,280 seats managed. 37 different resident courses. 5-fold increase over 2008 course offerings. Includes Excellence in Acquisition Seminar. We also offer: –We offer a 40 hour COTR course (resident) Online coming soon –We offer a 12 hour COTR refresher course (resident) Online coming soon –We offer every class needed to get FAC-C certified through Level III

10 10 1 st Actions Know what your appointment letter requires of you Meet the players –Get contact information Government / requiring office Contracting shop Industry Get the contract (if there is one) with all modifications Read and understand the contract and what is required of all parties Get the files, if there are any Establish ground rules to keep you and everyone appropriately informed and engaged Start documenting for your successor –Key is information regarding agreements made or contentious issues dealt with –All correspondence –Document significant conversations / meetings –Copies of invoices –Performance/inspection/acceptance –All records of contractor performance such as performance monitoring, inspection, service reports and other documents –Appointment letter –A robust filing system will be your legacy!

11 11 Daily Responsibilities Manage requirements Manage expectations Provide technical direction Working to make sure flow of communication between requirements and contracts is fluid Arranging meetings/facilitating Advising Reviewing Inspecting Monitoring delivery and performance Technical representative Dealing with barriers and roadblocks Emphasize Procurement Integrity Avoid Conflicts of Interest Increasingly important to oversee contractor personnel assigned to a contract –HSPD 12… controlling and knowing access to Government facilities and data –Badge control COTR is key to a programs success… or failure

12 12 Pre Award Develop a program plan –Ticklers Key dates Reports Deliveries Other data submission dates Invoice due dates Completion dates Option renewal dates –Contract requirements and anticipated deliverables –Key assigned tasks –Quality inspections –Government Furnished Property (GFP) –Providing required information –Reports / report outs –Identify key Terms and Conditions –Key contract clauses and requirements –Proactive scheduling and planning –Identify records keeping requirements by government and contractor Support market research Provide / support development of Independent Government Cost Estimates (IGCE) Support development of Advanced Acquisition Plans Assist in selection of contract type and whether / how to compete / if set aside is feasible Translate Performance Based Outcome requirements Assist in source selection factors Support pre-award debriefings Answer solicitation questions, working through the CO and with the program office Safeguard source selection information

13 13 Post Award Understand process for the review and approval of invoices (varies widely at DHS) –Manual processes –Automated processes (WebView at DHSCorporate) –Hybrid Manage contractor personnel assigned to perform on a contract using government facilities –Security in and out processing –Badges –Appropriate access to systems, clearances & facilities Track and report use and care of government-furnished assets or contractor acquired assets Acceptance use and return Disposal recommendations of excess government furnished assets or contractor acquired assets Support valuation of lost, damaged or destroyed government furnished assets or contractor acquired assets –Maintain a current list of employees who will be working in your facilities –Ensure / phone contact information is accurate –Ensure contractor status is known / recognized in the workplace ( / badging / etc.) Ensure contractor performs as required –Adheres to key employee assignments –Timely response to Government-perceived performance problems –Performs to contract requirements: Monitoring and surveillance –Quick resolution to perceived performance problems –Support Qualify Assurance –Provide quality supplies and or services… on time and on budget –Appropriate travel, overtime, use of assets / facilities, and subcontracting –Accurate and timely reports –Supports small business subcontracting, as appropriate –Monitor compliance with safety, security, labor and environmental law requirements (report issues immediately)

14 14 Post Award (cont) Ensure Government performs as required –Ensures funding is in place –Provides GFP –Timely processing of invoices –Ensures no constructive changes –Responds quickly to negative performance indicators / trends Ensure any changes are pursuant to contract mods and through the CO Report improper conduct to appropriate authorities –Fraud, waste, abuse, conflict of interest, etc. Report issues, problems or concerns to CO and program –Change in key personnel –Labor / workforce issues –Disagreements on statement of work / objectives –Lack of performance –Evaluate and track progress payment requests –Interim cost voucher verification Coordinate any correspondence to contractor through CO Safeguard vendor information as appropriate –Ensure all Contractors and Subcontractors, as applicable, have signed nondisclosure forms as appropriate Maintain robust files

15 15 Contract Administration Provide frequent feedback on contract performance to CO –Including supporting past performance assessments Manages deliveries Identifies modifications needed Support contractor in interpreting Ts & Cs Works with CO to get the mods in place Track funding Will also work closeouts Depending upon the contract, COTR-ing can be a heavy burden

16 16 COTR Donts Committing the Government to a change in price, performance, quality, quantity, or delivery Providing guidance that changes scope or terms of the contract Signing changes or modifications Directing the contractor how they will accomplish performance Substitutions not originally on the contract Increasing the dollar limit or adding expenditures Conduct prejudicial to the Government Making a Government decision outside official channels Sharing procurement or advance acquisition information that could provide preferential treatment to one firm

17 17 Closeout This is an area we can improve (as everywhere) Each component handles Varies also with CO More focus on this area to ensure appropriate closeout of funds

18 18 COTR Management COTR appointment is on a contract by contract basis Advise all parties with interest, COTR information –On initiation of appointment –On termination of appointment Important to track COTRs to contract and contracts to COTRs Tenure ends: –On contract closure –Upon CO notice… must be in writing –Upon COTR reassignment or transfer –If COTR does not remain current in certification training –In situations where a conflict of interest issue occurs

19 19 Questions?

20 20 Recruiting… DHS is Hiring! DHS is hiring and is an outstanding place to work with significant growth opportunities For information, send your resume to: and state that Craig Curtis referred at GSA Expo. Great site for additional information about DHS acquisition employment opportunities is: Click on Homeland Security Acquisition Career Opportunities for acquisition/procurement- specific information


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