AAFA applauds DoD efforts to improve procurement process
The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) applauded the Department of Defense's (DoD) first steps towards negotiated military uniform procurement process improvements.
Under the Berry Amendment, the Department of Defense must procure all clothing and textile items for soldiers from American businesses, using American-grown material, sewn by American workers. Few businesses face as complex challenges everyday as those of government contractors navigating the procurement process.
Fortunately, due to a strong partnership between industry and government, some needed changes are about to take hold. As a result of ongoing negotiations with the apparel, footwear and textile industries, on October 1, the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP) began implementation of a more efficient, accurate and successful procurement system.
On September 17, Congressman Robin Hayes (R-NC) hosted a meeting with DLA Director Lieutenant General Robert Dail, DSCP Commander Brigadier General Gustave Perna and the Group of Six. During the very positive discussion, General Perna announced his intentions to instill sweeping new changes and strategies to the procurement of clothing and textile-based items, including the more timely award of contracts, narrower spreads between minimums and maximums and a new look at the shade evaluation process.
A coalition representing the entire supply chain of the domestic textile and apparel companies serving the military, the Group of Six was formed three years ago by industry representatives from American Apparel & Footwear Association, the National Textile Association, the Parachute Industry Association, Clemson Apparel Research and the United States Industrial Fabrics Institute.
“Since the initial meeting facilitated by Congressman Hayes almost two years ago,” said AAFA GCC Chairman Michael Mansh, “Regular discussions with representatives from the military services, DSCP and DLA have created a strong partnership that has brought us to this point today.”
“Everyone agreed, more needed to be done to simplify the process,” continued Mansh. “And I am encouraged about the changes General Perna promised to institute over the next year.”
These changes and more are on the agenda today at AAFA's Government Contracts Committee (GCC) Fall Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. GCC member companies participate in each link of the supply chain – from the yarn producers and textile companies to the end-item manufacturer.
“AAFA vigilantly fights to preserve the Berry Amendment to ensure this manufacturing base is strong when the military needs it the most,” said Kevin M. Burke, president and CEO, AAFA. “I am pleased with the progress of the Group of Six and the commitment of military and government leadership to these discussions.”
“A special thanks is deserved to Congressman Robin Hayes, DLA Director Lieutenant General Robert Dail, DSCP Commander Brigadier General Gustave Perna and the Group of Six for their hard work on this important issue of national defense,” added Burke.
American Apparel & Footwear Association