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Aaron Kazi,

I worked with some former CO-types back in the early '00's who were big fans of Alpha Contracting. But that was back in the days of Gansler, where "partnership" between the Government and contractors was the official policy. I'm nearly certain DoD policy-makers would not be expecting "partnerships" today. Today we have ICATS and a Pricing Directorate and a growing Cost Monitoring function staffed by former DCAA auditors. Which is fine -- nothing wrong with that at all -- but it's a different environment, and one I think is inherently more adversarial. Plus DCAA is still prohibited from participating in IPTs, which is a big part of Alpha Contracting (if I recall correctly).

Bottom-line -- I've never heard any bad things about A.C., but it surprises me the Army is still pursuing it given the current environment.

H2H

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Thanks for the insight here_2_help. You are very correct that things are inherently more adversarial. The result has been continuous process refinement. An example is determining fee. Since this is something adversarial in any environment, it naturally has become more so as was evidenced in my last Alpha. Moving forward into other Alpha's, we will most likely carve out and contain this step; and resolve through traditional negotiation.

DCAA was obvioulsy not in the process, but DCMA played a key role in locking down rates and essentially slicing that out of the discussions. Primary focus was then on technical, the PWS, and related BOE's.

Personally, I do not feel Alpha is good or bad. It is just a tool than can make sense depending on the nature of the requirement.

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Like so many things, Alpha contracting is a good concept in itself but made overly and unnecessarily complex in practice. In essence it's the two parties (government and contracting) doing tasks jointly instead of sequentially passing the ball back and forth. It certainly didin't envision DCAA being part of any "team." DCAA and others are independent and need to remain that way. Alpha contracting envisions the CO sharing DCAA findings with the contractor and working out any issues collaboratively. Instead what happens now too often is for COs to take DCAA opinions, put them into a letter, and sending them to the contractor to respond. The contractor then must provide something and not even fully undertsand the context of the letter's statements.

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Like so many things, Alpha contracting is a good concept in itself but made overly and unnecessarily complex in practice. In essence it's the two parties (government and contracting) doing tasks jointly instead of sequentially passing the ball back and forth. It certainly didin't envision DCAA being part of any "team." DCAA and others are independent and need to remain that way. Alpha contracting envisions the CO sharing DCAA findings with the contractor and working out any issues collaboratively. Instead what happens now too often is for COs to take DCAA opinions, put them into a letter, and sending them to the contractor to respond. The contractor then must provide something and not even fully undertsand the context of the letter's statements.

DCAA being prohibited from IPT participation and thus Alpha was not an issue in my last Alpha.

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Like so many things, Alpha contracting is a good concept in itself but made overly and unnecessarily complex in practice. In essence it's the two parties (government and contracting) doing tasks jointly instead of sequentially passing the ball back and forth. It certainly didin't envision DCAA being part of any "team." DCAA and others are independent and need to remain that way. Alpha contracting envisions the CO sharing DCAA findings with the contractor and working out any issues collaboratively. Instead what happens now too often is for COs to take DCAA opinions, put them into a letter, and sending them to the contractor to respond. The contractor then must provide something and not even fully undertsand the context of the letter's statements.

Anything that is a point of lack of understanding for the contractor should preferably be resolved with via Alpha Discussions. Also- I have found that separating out certain issues and resolving through traditional means can also help.

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I have never had the occasion to purchase Alpacas. I'm told they are ill-tempered and disgusting, but have a wonderful coat. Why is the Army purchasing them when they have that new four legged robot?

As an aside, I think we should all strive to read the initial posting very carefully before responding. Pride, people. Pride.

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