The PSDR Initiative and Stimulus Package #4
Congress is currently negotiating the fourth stimulus package under consideration to support the federal coronavirus pandemic response. This round is focused on reducing "red tape," defined broadly as bureaucratic process requirements that prevent or unnecessarily delay government access to needed support where the process itself has little or no corresponding intrinsic value.
This stimulus package is both broad and pointed in its goals: while the focus is particularly on the reduction of unproductive bureaucratic processes that delay government response, it is not at all focused solely on FEMA, DHS, and NIH. Instead, it is a wide ranging effort to enable the entire government apparatus to move more efficiently and effectively to address crises without significantly eroding the protections afforded by a well-run bureaucracy.
Because the PSDR process fits neatly into this effort - as anyone whose CPSR was cancelled due to government travel restrictions can attest - we are suggesting that our proposed legislative text and Report Language be included in Stimulus Package #4.
Below please find the bullets we've provided as talking points to various Congressional offices over the past several weeks regarding the positive impact the PSDR process will have on defense audit objectives during the next pandemic:
- Enables performance of remote CPSRs during emergency situations, including but not limited to state and national quarantines.
- Eliminates the need for (and costs associated with) physical interaction during reviews.
- Removes significant red tape prohibiting small businesses and innovative IT firms from participating in tasks released under existing contract vehicles while simultaneously mitigating cost and performance risks associated with contractor supply chains. Use of existing government wide acquisition contract (GWAC) vehicles for tasking during emergencies also reduces lead-time required for agencies to commit and release funds to nontraditional contractors.
- Reduces cost of CPSRs by as much as 50% while drastically reducing the lead-time required for physical performance of reviews; budget reduction can be rellocated as funding for additional analysts to perform Purchasing System Desk Reviews (PSDRs) during FY2021 Pilot Program at no additional cost to the Pentagon.
- DCMA Remote CPSR Pilot Program can be implemented at no cost to the Pentagon; DCMA can require contractors to bear the cost of facilitating electronic review of files (e.g. remote access to secure contractor servers; delivery of electronic documentation via CD-ROM, etc.) during remote CPSRs in accordance with existing paper reduction acts and regulations.
- Implementation of Remote CPSR Program will substantially contribute to retention of experienced CPSR Analysts (the average CPSR Analyst is currently “on the road” 75% of the year) while significantly increasing the physical safety of analysts performing reviews.
It's truly unfortunate it took such dire circumstances for Congress to push the modernization and streamlining of aspects of the federal bureaucracy. That being said, we're obviously happy to be in a position to provide solutions to an important (but little-considered) aspect of this issue at no cost to the American taxpayer. If nothing else, we sincerely hope members of Congress enjoy the concept of a net zero cost proposal of this kind during a stimulus package negotiation.
Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy!