JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas —
The Department of Defense budgets about $25 billion annually to operate and support its installations, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
Years ago, the GAO determined the DOD needed to reduce its installation support costs, and the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 helped bring their efforts to fruition by authorizing military services to enter into Intergovernmental Support Agreements, or IGSAs, with local and state governments, leveraging financial benefits and enhancing mission effectiveness.
Joint Base San Antonio is currently utilizing three IGSA’s to purchase goods and services through the City of San Antonio and the Alamo Area Council of Governments, or AACOG, to include agreements for paving, blanket commodity and services purchasing, and the purchase of bulk materials, like the rock, sand, topsoil, and concrete used in JBSA construction and landscaping projects.
The bulk purchase IGSA, which is projected to save money on both sides, was approved for purchasing by the San Antonio City Council Jan. 16, 2020, and was finalized by city’s deputy chief financial officer Jan. 28.
“Before the agreement, JBSA procured bulk materials through the Defense Logistics Agency, which manages overarching prime vendor contracts with sub-vendors,” said Col. Richard Ward, 502nd Contracting Squadron director. “The IGSA allows us to work with the city instead of doing our own contracts.”
Ward said the IGSA will potentially save money through economies of scale, explaining that because the city already has contracts for the same materials, they may be able to incorporate JBSA requirements into their contract for a discounted price.
“They buy so much more than we do, so we might get a break in the cost by piggybacking off of their contracts,” Ward said. “Our cost analysis showed they get items at a lower price than we do, so we are anticipating an estimated 18 percent savings by ordering these materials from the city instead of DLA.”
The agreement will also save the time spent generating contracts, something Ward sees saving many man-hours.
“I think it’s pretty exciting to try out new things,” Ward said. “To try a new method and see if it is cheaper and a better way to do business, while also partnering with our local communities on things that they buy already, may help us do things faster and cheaper.
“I also think the IGSA strengthens the bond between us and the City of San Antonio,” Ward said. “We get great support from them and I think this is just another way to tighten our bonds with the city.”
City leaders also look forward to strengthening the ties between JBSA and San Antonio.
“These agreements are mutually beneficial to both the City of San Antonio and the military as they continuously strengthen our partnership with JBSA, add military value to our installations, save the military resources and are a tangible example of community support for the military,” said Juan G. Ayala, director, Office of Military and Veteran Affairs, City of San Antonio.
“Mayor Ron Nirenberg often says, ‘We consider the City of San Antonio one large installation,’ which really speaks to the constant teamwork between the City and the military,” Ayala said. “Our decades-long partnerships with JBSA is a key component to the ‘DNA’ of Military City USA.”