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My Coast Guard
Commentary | July 7, 2022

New initiative will streamline purchasing  

By Kathy Murray, MyCG Writer

The Coast Guard has launched a contracting & procurement initiative to improve how the enterprise obtains goods and services to meet mission needs.

The Buy Better Revolution (BBR) grew out of a shared recognition that timely procurement was an enterprise-wide challenge. Its goal, says Ed Gibbons, director of the Contracting and Procurement Modernization Task Force, is to bring Coast Guard contracting & procurement (C&P) into the modern age, better addressing the speed of need at the unit level. A BBR approach seeks to improve the customer experience with a timely delivery of a centrally sourced product 

 “As Adm. Fagan set forth in the Commandant’s Intent, we must ‘sharpen our competitive edge,’ because our assets, supply chains, and our operational challenges are becoming more and more complex,” Gibbons said. “The BBR is taking a detailed look at how to make it easier to access C&P processes by working with Coast Guard members "  

The objective of the BBR is to capitalize on the strength of the Coast Guard’s workforce to improve how the C&P framework operates from the moment a requirement is generated through its purchase, integration, delivery, and final invoice payment. A modern business process will, among other things, require a standardized and transparent approach to contracting, leverage technology and data, manage the supplier base, and provide a consistent experience to customers. It will offer enhanced capabilities for both the C&P workforce and the programs and offices they support. 

The Coast Guard’s existing C&P structure was not on par with other federal agencies, relying on relationships that chief of contracting offices (COCOs) have developed with their customers, which is not a sustainable or scalable model as C&P and the world continue to evolve and change.   

The hope is that a better buying experience for our workforce will hopefully lead to less frustration in their day-to-day purchasing processes.  

How to take part    

The BBR is expected to submit an outline of its recommendations to modernize C&P in mid 2023. The final recommendations are scheduled to be implemented in late 2023.   

In the interim, BBR is taking an inclusive approach by forming working groups composed of a diverse group of participants from both headquarters and the field to review and test recommendations. Recently one work group looked at employee incentives, like remote work, and is identifying how managers can better utilize those incentives to improve procurement processes.   

If you’re interested in learning more about BBR, or want to join a future working group, go to the C&P Task Force page. There, you can check out the FAQ or hit Contact to volunteer.