Around 1997/98, the Defense Logistics Agency changed their business practices, and entered into Prime Vendor long term sustainment contracts with various suppliers to provide materials needed to support the maintenance, repair, and operation (MRO) of its facilities. Items such as plumbing, electrical components, heating/ ventilation/ air conditioning (HVAC), lumber, fixtures, other hardware supplies, etc. would be included. The Prime Vendors need not make these items; the idea is to use purchasing power and commercial purchasing practices to consistently get the US Department of Defense the best prices on these civilian items, delivering them quickly and with little overhead.
These contracts are not small; collectively, they represent billions of dollars each year. Unless otherwise stated, the contracts are issued by the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP, now referred to as Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support) in Philadelphia, PA. Specific purchases then take place via orders under the overarching contracts described below, up to the limits mentioned. The USA is divided into a number of regions, and these contracts also include locations abroad; DID has used the same geographical groupings in describing these contracts, and the firms receiving them. Coverage will end at the end of FY 2011.
At present, awards seem to be dropping to 1/10 of previous levels. This is not a typo. The DLA says that it’s a series of bridge contracts, issued while they prepare solicitations for the next contract sets. Those solicitations are due out in about a month.
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