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Inside Look at IDARM's Principles of Defense Procurement & Contracting Course

Posted: Nov 29, 2017
James Bailey, Brianna Hartley

In an increasingly complex defense contracting environment, governments must be equipped to address multifaceted procurement challenges. To provide partner nation students with an understanding of the fundamental concepts and challenges associated with national and global defense procurement and contracting, the International Defense Acquisition Resource Management (IDARM) program of the Center for Civil Military Relations (CCMR) delivered a course entitled, “Principles of Defense Procurement and Contracting,” from 30 October to 10 November 2017.

This course provided participants with a theoretical and practical examination of defense procurement and contracting issues, including analysis of the United States and other contracting models. The distinguished instructors bring a wealth of academic and practical experience to the course and included speakers from the Naval Postgraduate School, Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Weapon System Support at Naval Supply Systems Command, NATO Office of Resources, amongst others. Week one of the course focused on planning and award of defense contracts and week two focused on post-award contracting considerations. Course topics included: procurement policy, acquisition planning, contracting for services, foreign military sales, contract management, and others.

Students engaged in small working group exercises where they applied concepts and tools learned in the classroom to a real world case study. Students were encouraged to share their knowledge and experiences, adding to the course instruction creating a richer learning environment. Throughout the course, students shared contracting processes utilized in their countries and explored challenges encountered in their respective approaches. They discussed whether procurements are conducted in an efficient and cost effective manner. This also provided an opportunity to identify steps that may be taken to improve defense procurement processes and procedures within their nations.

Course participants represented a diverse group of civilian and military personnel. In the recent Fall offering of this course, twenty-three students from sixteen countries attended this 10-day course offered in Monterey, CA. Countries represented included Antigua & Barbuda, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, South Korea, Latvia, Liberia, Montenegro, Morocco, Serbia, Trinidad-Tobago, and South Africa. The audience included foreign military officers and civilian equivalents who contribute to procurement and contracting efforts from a policy or operational perspective in their countries.

Course participants will apply the skills they have learned in a variety of ways and in a range of professions. In regards to the course one student said, “I found the techniques I’ve learned to be useful and will share the knowledge I have gained with others who work in contracting. I will also look into having IDARM conduct this course in my home country as I know many others would also benefit from this knowledge.”

The “Principles of Defense Procurement and Contracting” resident course is scheduled twice per year with the next offering scheduled 19-30 March 2018. This course can also be conducted in country upon request.