Kuwait: ABCK-AmCham Kuwait hosted a 2-session workshop on ‘How to do Business with the U.S. Military with speakers from the U.S. Army’s Regional Contracting Center- Kuwait (RCC-KU), the 408th Contracting Support Brigade (CSB) and the U.S. Air Force’s 386th ECONS Expeditionary Wing. The event started with the opening remarks by AmCham Kuwait’s Chairman – Mr. Pete Swift, who welcomed and thanked the participants for taking the time to learn more about doing business with the U.S. Federal Government. The opening remarks were followed by introductory remarks by the newly appointed commander of RCC-KU Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Manuel Prado. Other members of the 408th CSB were in attendance including the 408th CSB Command Sergeant Major Angela M. Beckford, RCC-KU’s Deputy to the Commander, Mr. Wesley Harris, and RCC-KU’s Senior Enlisted Advisor, MSG Collis Doris. 

The first part of the session was covered by the U.S. Air Force 386th ECONS who targeted and covered topics such as Government Purchase Card (GPC) Program, Base Operations Support and Services (BOSS), Infrastructure, Base Access, Opportunities, and Pre-qualification requirements, and SAM/WAWF/JCCS review following with Workshop. Staff Sergeant Eduardo Vazquez Ortiz spoke about the GPC program as it is a mission to streamline payment procedures and reduce the administrative burden associated with purchasing supplies, and services. The GPC Flight makes all purchases under $35,000 US dollars (approx. 10,601.81 KWD) for supplies or services and is limited to $2,000 US dollars for construction purchases. SSgt Vazquez Ortiz also spoke about the common items procured via GPC which include printers/toner, TVs/speakers, furniture (desks/chairs), small construction projects, building materials, light bulbs, and plumbing/HVAC supplies.

Subsequently, the presenters provided an in-depth explanation of the Advantages of GPC, such as instant payment, which enables the vendor to receive the money instantly. GPC allows for a faster solicitation process, quicker delivery of the product or item, and allows GPC Flight to inquire with local vendors and purchase items directly.

Following the discussion, First Lieutenant Katherine Galgano from the 386th ECONS spoke about BOSS Flight requirements that include commodities such as printer ink, gym, and sports equipment, GPS items, Printers, office furniture, bedding, mattresses, and transformers. Cleaning services such as washing/dryers, custodial, appliance maintenance services, linen laundry services, gym equipment maintenance, and refuse/ recycling sewer. Pool services such as lifeguard and pool maintenance, as well as vehicle leases such as trucks, SUVs, vans, and buses.

Following the 386th’s presentation, SSG Christina Helsham, a Contracting Specialist from the RCC-KU, highlighted the role of RCC-KU which provides Cradle to Grave contracting and Contract Administration Services for U.S. Army Central Command (ARCENT) forces located in Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Oman, and other locations. RCC-KU procurement/requirements include commodities, services, and minor construction. SSG Helsham, also spoke about the systems in which vendors need to be registered in for larger contracts, specifically the System for Award Management (SAM), Procurement Integrated Enterprise Environment (PIEE), Joint Contingency Contracting System (JCCS), and Synchronized Pre-deployment and Operational Tracker (SPOT). SSG Helsham also spoke about how to respond to solicitations and provided tips for answering solicitations.

To finalize the 1st Session, Mr. Sean Bryan, a Contracting Specialist from the RCC-KU, provided an in-depth presentation on what SAM is and how to validate a SAM account. The speaker also spoke about the importance of the timeline of the vendor’s account revalidation, as they suggested that they start the process 90 days prior to the expiration of the account. Mr. Bryan also provided a tip for vendors to ensure a higher percentage of account validation success. The presenter also spoke about the technical aspects of SAM such as Role management, Role management Assignment/Request, and Role management -Acceptance. 

The presentation was followed by a WAWF review, done by Ms. Stacy Woolen and her team, in which they spoke about the benefits of WAWF, why WAWF is for electronic invoicing, and the role and support of ESS. The presenter went on to explain invoicing and the types of invoicing available including the 2 in-1 and the combo invoice workflow.

The next topic was covered by Mr. David Beach, who discussed JCCS Registration, as the speaker covered and explained how vendors can access JCCS. Mr. Beach specifically reviewed the steps required to register in JCCS and provided a step-by-step demonstration by establishing a fictional entity.

Moving to the second session, companies were able to have an in-depth Q&A with the U.S. military representatives, specifically on the topics of JCCS and SAM. The U.S. Military also held a simultaneous session for vendors who had more company-specific SAM/JCCS-related questions.

ABCK-AmCham Kuwait is a non-profit organization operating since 1985 and is composed of Fortune 500 corporations, small and medium-sized companies, and prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs, both American and Kuwaiti. ABCK-AmCham Kuwait acts as an advocate for American interest in the state of Kuwait. For More Information, please visit our website at www.amchamkuwait.org or follow us on the social media channels @abck1985