The US Army is set to test the new Army Contract Writing System (ACWS) as part of its efforts to streamline the procurement process.
The Army Corps of Engineers will launch a pilot test in February 2020, becoming the first organisation to do so, according to US Army deputy assistant secretary for procurement Stuart Hazlett.
The ACWS solution is designed to enable the US Army to shift to a single enterprise writing and management system.
It will replace the Standard Procurement System (SPS) / Procurement Desktop-Defense and Procurement Automated Data and Document System (PADDS).
The 23-year-old SPS is used to manage billions in goods and services, said Hazlett.
PADDS has been in service for more than 40 years and is used to procure weapon systems and spares.
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Hazlett said: “The contracting enterprise is looking forward to the full implementation of the Army Contract Writing System. I cannot emphasise the importance of having this system deployed.”
The US Army is working with the navy to deploy the solution in order to create a standardised acquisition process.
The enterprise-wide contract writing system will also reduce the number of interfaces and redundancies.
ACWS can operate in low bandwidth and disconnected status for expeditionary forces. The system will support both classified and unclassified networks.
Hazlett added: “This system would not only expedite the acquisition and contracting process, but it has the ability to award and sustain those major weapons systems. The fragility of PADDS will be gone. The panic at the end of a fiscal year, wondering if the system is down, will be in the past.”
The army plans to have the ACWS solution fielded to Mission and Installation Contracting Command in June next year.
The system will use Cloud technologies to support managing and sharing huge volumes of data across the network.
He further stated: “We will be able to track all of our acquisitions from a complete requirements package to award to contract closeout. It will be interoperable with our finance systems, invoicing, and payments will speed up.”
The US Army awarded a ten-year contract to CGI for the development of an enterprise-wide contract writing and management system.