Utilities Contracting/Power Procurement
The mission of the Utilities Contracting Policy Office, Installation Support Policy Branch USACE's Office of the Deputy Commanding General for Military Programs, is to assist the Chief of Engineers, who is the Army Power Procurement Officer, in developing policy, standards, and procedures for the preparation and approval of contracts to buy and sell utilities services. It also maintains a continuing liaison with the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Department of Defense, and the Army Regulatory Law Office to provide recommendations for improving and expediting contracting procedures.
Assisting the Utilities Contracting Policy Office is the Installation Support Center of Expertise (ISCX) at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, AL. This Support Center serves as the central point of contact for all Army acquisitions and sales of utilities services. It monitors overall utility contracting practices and procedures and supervises the development of contract-related technical specifications. It provides assistance during rate negotiations with utility companies and in the review of rates for special programs. In addition, the Huntsville ISCX provides technical assistance to the Army Chief of Staff for Installations Management (ACSIM) in their Army's utilities privatization program.
Acquisition of Utility Services
The policy/goals of the Army and the Corps of Engineers regarding the acquisition of utility services are to: 1) obtain utility services from the most efficient provider taking into consideration reliability, efficiency and safety of the furnished services; 2) promote competition and aggregation; and 3) provide contracting choices to the installation commander during these times of resources downsizing. AR 420-41 (.pdf, 537Kb) is the regulation for the Acquisition and Sale of Utility Services.
In addition to the day-to-day utility acquisition activities, the Army is also striving to minimize the risk to installations of the ever-changing energy markets per goal #1 above. In particular, the Army is engaged in a comprehensive natural gas supply risk management strategy (.pdf, 3Mb) to mitigate the significant price/cost fluctuations common in this de-regulated market. The risk mitigation strategy is a joint effort between the Defense Energy Support Center and IMCOM .
Utility Rate Intervention and Litigation
The Regulatory Law and Intellectual Property Office, U.S. Army Legal Services Agency, is responsible for assisting the Chief of Engineers, the Deputy Army Power Procurement Officer, and the Huntsville ISCX on utility regulatory matters and for providing representation on behalf of the Department of the Army before Federal and State regulatory bodies in all cases and hearings relating to communications, transportation, electricity, gas, water, and sewer. In addition, the office provides consultation, advice and legal guidance to Army, DOD, and other Federal activities concerning regulatory law matters.