Acquisition Excellence Individual Award: Hilary Cole, U.S. Department of Agriculture
As the COVID-19 outbreak occurred, a need was identified to develop a procurement program that would link the American farmer, produce distributors, and needy people across the country. Hilary developed a concept paper which detailed a streamlined process for the procurement of fresh produce, taking advantage of emergency procurement regulations. Ms. Cole’s concept grew in scope to support the fresh produce, dairy, chicken and pork industries and it became the Farmers to Families Food Box Program. The Government issued the solicitation April 24, 2020. Over 500 proposals were received by May 1, evaluated within one week, and awards were made May 8, 2020. Ms. Cole's innovative acquisition resulted in 329 contracts with vendors valued at over $3.9 billion with no protests. To date, over 118 million boxes of food have been delivered to non-profit organizations across America.
The Acquisition Excellence Team Award was a tie, so we have two winners
Defense Information Systems Agency Cloud Based Internet Isolation Team
In 2019, the DISA Cloud Based Internet Isolation team fundamentally transformed the way DOD retrieves data from the internet and defends its network. Cloud Based Internet Isolation transfers Internet browsing sessions from traditional desktop browsers to a secure, isolated cloud-platform. The service isolates potential malicious code and content within the cloud-platform, separating the threat from direct connections to DOD networks. In one thirty-day period, this solution removed approximately 150,000 file downloads from the DOD network by isolating them in the cloud, blocked the download of 142 malicious files, blocked browsing to 3,394 malicious URLs, and isolated 30 malicious sites that would have been missed by traditional security scanning tools and mechanisms.
Department of the Air Force Acquisition COVID-19 Task Force Virtual Tools Team
The COVID-19 pandemic caused an immediate need for rapid acquisition and advanced data solutions for the entire Air Force Acquisition community. The Department of the Air Force Acquisition COVID-19 Task Force stood up a Virtual Tools Team with diverse data professionals who were given the goal of commanding situational awareness of procurement actions in response to the pandemic. Within a week, this team assembled virtually, gathered data, built an initial set of interactive dashboards, and launched a training program. However, there was a serious problem: there was no way to know where deliveries were occurring for critical medical supplies. The team devised an innovative solution of “tagging” contract titles, which was soon adopted by all of DoD. These tags were then automatically analyzed by a best-in-class business intelligence solution which provided dashboards and situational awareness to key leaders resulting in data-driven decisions. This successful solution delivered precision acquisition insight by combining contract performance data with John’s Hopkins COVID-19 outbreak data to form layered maps.
Lisa Wilusz Program Management Excellence Award: Sarah Clore, U.S Department of Agriculture
Ms. Clore is the Lead Project Manager for the Forest Service Acquisition Management – Mission Area Consolidation initiative which centralized reporting and streamlined service delivery for procurement, and property management functions. Forest Service acquisition management functions previously were decentralized. Employees in field locations reported to supervisors who were not always acquisition professionals. Previous efforts to reorganize contracting functions had been met with resistance from contracting personnel, program managers and senior leadership. Ms. Clore’s leadership and project management skills ensured final approval and success of the initiative. Customer service is the foundation of the new organization, called Procurement & Property Services. The new, national contracting organization aligns all contracting professionals under the Mission Area Senior Contracting Officer, facilitates resource-sharing, creates career ladders and developmental opportunities, standardizes processes, and provides better oversight to reduce risks associated with a large contracting program. Field-based contracting teams were established in Zones to support routine needs. Expert-level national teams are commodity-based, specializing in specific areas like incident support and stewardship contracting. Property teams are aligned to support the property needs of specific Forests in all property business areas. Overall, the new organization will foster employee engagement and collaboration, increase efficiency, and better support mission needs
Small Business Excellence Award: Department of State Global Response Task Force
When the 2020 coronavirus outbreak took hold in China, all traditional avenues for evacuation of Americans failed – no charter company would accept the mission. As the pandemic spread, the Department struggled to mount the largest repatriation operation in American history. The Department was forced to develop its own global network of aircraft to support medical evacuations and logistics distribution to keep more than 220 diplomatic facilities open worldwide. In the six months between February and July 2020, the contract team scaled its small business set-aside Multi-Mission Aviation Support Services contract from a $10 million per year contingency capability to a $20 million per month operation. Operations under this contract have included more than 500 missions and transporting more than 15,000 people.