The contractor operated parts stores (COPARS) and contractor-operated civil engineer supply stores (COCESS) are supply facilities established on military installations and operated by commercial firms under contract by the military services to provide commercial vehicle and engineering spare parts. The Defense Supply Agency (DSA) is currently studying the effectiveness of COCESS to determine the optimum method of providing commercially available material. The Air Force is making extensive use of COPARS/COCESS at about 100 installations, while the Army and the Navy continue to rely primarily on GSA, DSA, and local purchase procurement for providing commercial spare parts. Assuming that the GSA and DSA systems are effectively managed, it is not apparent how a contractor-operated supply operation can provide parts at lower cost than the government system. The DSA study should, as a minimum, focus on the relative effectiveness of response, cost, and need for duplicate methods or systems for obtaining repair parts support, including whether or not the contractor-operated stores are having a deleterious effect on the cost and effectiveness of GSA and DSA systems. Specific problems with the COCESS contract at Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, have been brought to the attention of base officials and the Department of Justice. The Air Force has issued guidelines to major commands in an effort to improve the management, surveillance, and administration of COPARS/COCESS contracts.
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