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Acquisition Forum
Tony Baumann, director of contracting at Robins, discusses the acquisition process Feb. 19, 2014 during a forum in Warner Robins. The purpose of the forum was to provide attendees a glimpse into the processes and procedures which drive acquisition strategies and the decision making process at the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tommie Horton)
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Federal acquisition forum goal to demystify process

Posted 2/21/2014   Updated 2/21/2014 Email story   Print story


by Jenny Gordon
Robins Public Affairs

2/21/2014 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Gaining perspective into the intricacies of the federal acquisition process at Robins was the goal of Wednesday's forum conducted at the Mercer Engineering Research Center in Warner Robins.

Including base contracting leaders, an audience of more than 60 representatives from industry gathered to learn about what it takes to do business with the base, acquisition expectations, the requirements process, sourcing strategies, pre-solicitation activities, market research, small business competition, contract awarding and more.

An average of more than $5 billion in contracts is awarded annually at Robins. This can include everything from multiple weapon systems supported here to the daily cost of operations.

"This forum helps to describe what and how we think, why we make the decisions we do, and how the process works," said Tony Baumann, Robins director of contracting. "The concept is simply to understand that the process is open - dialogue is what makes it more trustworthy."

Acquisition is the process by which goods, supplies, commodities and services are bought by the government.

Additional topics covered included contract law, small business programs and the Acquisition Center of Excellence.

"In acquisition we define our requirements, identifying what we need to processing through placement of a contract," he said. "We solicit industry for bids, we negotiate prices, award contracts, and in the end administer them until those goods and services are ordered."

While there are a myriad of deliberate steps taken during the contracting process that many may not realize, Baumann stressed the three fundamental principles in contracting include competition, fair and reasonable pricing and fairness during the process.

A yearlong process is currently taking place across the three air logistics complexes to standardize contract documentation. Rapid improvement events will be held throughout 2014 to further define the process, said Baumann.

A requirements symposium is scheduled for 2015.

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