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From CEOss to SeaPort-e

The Marine Corps institutes a new tool for procuring services

Shortly after the start of the second Gulf War, the Marine Corps established a new business model to procure contract support services for Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC). That model – Commercial Enterprise Omnibus Support Services (CEOss) – allowed the Corps to establish ordering agreements with a group of contractors and compete task orders among them.

While a significant improvement, over time CEOss began showing serious limitations, according to Supervisory Contracting Officer-Command Support Angela Apperson.

“It worked well for the purpose for which it was established and we were able to have competition and definitely developed a business base with a number of contractors brought into the Quantico [Va.] area. So there were more voices and competition, utilizing the GSA [General Services Administration] to compete contracts,” she said.

Simulation support

William Kelly, a Deployed Virtual Training analyst with Operations and Training, prepares an air strike simulation with the Virtual Battle Simulation 2 at Building 1655 on July 13, 2011. SeaPort-e also includes simulation support in its 22 functional areas. DoD photo by Cpl. Andrew D. Thorburn

“Eventually, we had approximately 40 blanket purchase agreements [BPAs] in place. The business model included four different domains, each with five to 10 BPAs for engineering-, logistics-, or business-type work, with each order competed within those domains. Once a year, generally, we would give an opportunity to have a new BPA put in place and different team members. It was an important business model, with a positive impact on the command, community, and business base, but by 2011, it was time to move on.”

While MCSC developed the CEOss business model, the Navy instituted a different system, called SeaPort, designed around multiple award contracts (MACs) with innovative contracting, including a Web-based e-procurement portal solution.

In 2004, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) initiated SeaPort Enhanced (SeaPort-e), primarily to satisfy the specific missions and requirements of the Surface and Undersea Warfare Centers through 22 functional areas:

  • Research and Development Support
  • Engineering, System Engineering, and Process Engineering Support
  • Modeling, Simulation, and Analysis Support
  • Prototyping, Pre-production, Model-making, and Fabrication Support
  • System Design Documentation and Technical Data Support
  • Software Engineering, Development, Programming, and Network Support
  • Reliability, Maintainability, and Availability (RM&A) Support
  • Human Factors, Performance, and Usability Engineering Support
  • System Safety Engineering Support
  • Configuration Management (CM) Support
  • Quality Assurance (QA) Support
  • Information System (IS) Development, Information Assurance (IA), and Information Technology (IT) Support
  • Inactivation and Disposal Support
  • Interoperability, Test and Evaluation, and Trials Support
  • Measurement Facilities, Range, and Instrumentation Support
  • Logistics Support
  • Supply and Provisioning Support
  • Training Support
  • In-service Engineering, Fleet Introduction, Installation, and Checkout Support
  • Program Support
  • Functional and Administration Support
  • Public Affairs and Multimedia Support

SeaPort-e provides a central platform through which prequalified contractor teams compete for Navy work under a consistent procurement process that allows the command “to leverage quality control and work requirements for its directorates, PEOs, and field activities,” according to NAVSEA. “The MAC contracts provide a guaranteed savings clause that will enable NAVSEA to achieve cost savings and a mechanism for the automatic conversion to performance-based requirements.”

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J.R. Wilson has been a full-time freelance writer, focusing primarily on aerospace, defense and high...