Saturday, October 24, 2009

Onto New Things...

Well, thankfully the offsets report is finally complete. After waiting from a report from DoD called " DoD Purchases of Manufactured Items –Fiscal Year 2008”) I was finally able to gather the last bit of datathat I needed to finish chapter 5. And least the draft is anyhow. It will still have to move through the Department of Commerce to get signedoff. All in all, the work is done; it’s just a matter of waiting on bureaucracy at this point.
Another thing I have forgotten to mention before is the work I have been doing for something called “NAMSA” also known as NATO Management and Supply Agency. NAMSA’s primary task is “to assist NATO nations by organizing common procurement and supply of spare parts and arranging maintenance and repair services necessary for the supportof various weapon systems in their inventories.”

Primarily, my role in working with NAMSA to in processing requests ofeligibility. NAMSA will request information to my office on differentfirms and their eligibility to compete on a NAMSA procurement. This iswhere I get down to business. They will submit a list of firms to me. After receiving the list I will check to make sure that they arelegitimate. The first step to do is to examine their company’swebsite. Some firms unfortunately that are looking to compete on aNAMSA procurement are sometimes too small to have a website—they couldoperate with just 3 people. Needless to say, this is cause for greaterresearch. The next thing I do is search for news related toeach firm. Should they have articles on winning government contracts,it’s a good sign. No articles could be a problem. After that, I go on to check the “Excluded Parties List System”. That is a “WorldWide Web site is provided as a public service by General Services Administration (GSA) for the purpose of efficiently and convenientlydisseminating information on parties that are excluded from receiving Federal contracts, certain subcontracts, and certain Federal financialand nonfinancial assistance and benefits, pursuant to the provisions of31 U.S.C. 6101, note, E.O. 12549, E.O. 12689, 48 CFR 9.404, and each agency's codification of the Common Rule for Nonprocurement suspensionand debarment.” In lament’s terms, it means that I am searching through a GSA database to make sure that none of the interested firms have been barred from doing business with the U.S. government. Should there be any issues, I would notify NAMSA accordingly.

The next few weeks should be interesting because I have an appointmentto meet with the Acting Assistant Secretary for Export Administration, named Matt Borman. I’m quite excited to get to meet with such a high-ranking official in my office. I will also be joined by the otherintern at SIES—Victor. He just started a little bit ago and seems quite nice. I will let you know how the meeting goes!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Settling In

Well, I have officially been at work for about a month now so I have started to really settle in. At the very least I am proud of myself for finally being able to maneuver the seemingly endless corridors in the building. I've been continuing working on the Offsets report that I mentioned earlier. I've begun the final chapter which is strictly about the impact of offsets on the Defense Industrial Base. So far I have finished 2 of the 7 data sets necessary to complete it. I really am crunching the numbers! And let me tell you, there are a lot of them.

Here and there I have begun helping out working on something called COOP which refers to "Continuity of Operations". Basically this is contingency planning so the government has backup in the event of a disaster. In short, backing everything up ensures that regardless of whatever is going on in the world, the operations of the government remain intact and functioning. I have simply been updating COOP procedure and backing stuff up in case of an emergency. Won't lie, it's not as interesting as writing the offsets report but I know at least what I am doing is useful to DOC.

I'm changing up my schedule this week because I am headed to Oklahoma for Fall break. I'd be missing one of my normal days but luckily my supervisor is flexible and didn't mind that I worked a half day here and there to make it up. Everyone seems to be pretty easy-going about letting me focus on schoolwork during exams, and adjusting my schedule as necessary.

Another intern in my department starts tomorrow, his name is Victor. I was surprised at how late he would be starting compared to me but I am excited to meet him. There aren't too many young people there so it will be nice to see a new face!