Acquisition Contract Management

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Acquisition Contract Management

Introduction

Acquisition contract management requires the conduct of a market research in order to arrive at the suitable approach to acquiring, dispensing as well as supporting supplies and services. Source selection is a procedure of deciding who acquires the award of a contract action. It can be a simple procedure of discovering the least priced goods, or be a structured procedure of deciding the best value.

Best value in the procurement process refers to an acquisition process, which results in the greatest benefit to a customer in accordance to the specific contract requirements. The attainment of greatest benefit to the customers occurs through the assessment and comparison of certain factors, as well as the offered price. The Best value acquisition process allows flexibility in the selection process through tradeoffs which the agency makes by evaluating the cost and non-cost factors with the intention of awarding the contract to a contractor who will provide the agency the best value of their money.

The source selection procedure entails of a few basic steps that result in an award to the best value offeror. In the private sector, these basic steps are left to the individual owner’s freedom of choice but for the government sector, there are certain procurement rules and regulations that follow throughout the procurement process. However, the basic procurement process framework is similar in both private and government sectors. Below I will discuss the steps followed in the best value source selection.

Discussion of Steps

Step 1

Knowing the customers and their needs

The first step in the best value source selection requires that individual contracting personnel meet with the customer with a view to getting to know the client(s) and understanding their individual needs and requirements. Getting to know the client in this case is essential in that it enables the contracting team to determine the customer’s current needs as given by ongoing contracts as well as any future acquisition requirements of the customer in question.

The process of getting to know the customer and their individual needs increases the contracting team’s knowledge about the organization mission and goals of the prospective customer and also their values, objectives and priorities. The process therefore enables the contracting personnel to provide relevant business advice and support as necessitated by the prevailing business environment as well as the requirements dictated by the contract specifications.

The adoption of best value procedures in this first step creates an enabling environment for the contracting personnel in which they are able to recommend procedures that aim at matching the individual customer requirements to the goals of the organization at the lowest cost possible. Examples of customer requirements in this case include essential physical characteristics of the end product as well as functions to be performed in the course of contract performance.

Step 2

Evaluation criteria

The second step of the best value source selection consists of determining criteria to evaluate the proposed solutions to the customer’s requirements. Evaluation criteria consist of a set of procedures used to determine with certainty any strengths and weaknesses in the proposals submitted by individual offerors, how their approaches facilitate the attainment of specific customer requirements as well as aid in distinguishing the proposals offered by the contractors. These evaluation criteria help in selecting the contractor with the capacity to provide greatest value to the government. Examples of evaluation criteria include such things as cost, quality, the past performance of the contractor, expertise, personnel qualifications among others.

The adoption of best value criteria in this step is highly essential in the overall contracting process as it provides the basis for competitive elimination among contractors in the process of acquisition. Further, it also reduces the work on the part of the customer as regards the selection of the contractor with the.............


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