A joint venture between Oklahoma State University and the
Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center at Tinker Air Force Base is
being touted as a government experiment that works.
The Computer Assisted Technology Transfer program is being
tested at Tinker to "create a synergism" between the military and
Oklahoma manufacturers, according to Ernie Schultz, aide to U.S.
Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla.
"(It) will lead to reduced military contracting costs through
competition of an expanded base of suppliers, reduced lead time,
reduced inventory and increased economic stability for
defense-related industry," Schultz said.
OSU is the prime contractor on the project, even though
contracts have not been signed. That is expected within a few
weeks, according to Col. Thomas B. Miller, director of the
logistics center's Technology and Industry Support Directorate.
What the test does is develop a paperless system so that any
manufacturer with the proper computerized equipment and software
can handle government contracting, from request for proposal to
finished product through electronic data transfer.
Many small companies have been left out of the government
contracting business because some aspects of bidding notices
cannot be transmitted to potential bidders in an electronic
format. This test would help eliminate that problem by devising a
method which would allow equal access to the computer network by
"Additionally, many requests for quotes and requests for
proposals contain extraneous information and incomplete
specifications, so that small businesses are not able to respond
with a competitive bid," read a report from U.S. Rep. Dave
McCurdy, D-Okla. "Consequently, the Defense Logistics Agency
frequently utilizes sole-source contracts to procure parts,
making the procurement process expensive and inefficient, and
discouraging small and midsize manufacturers."
Funding for the program was included in a conference committee
report to the U.S. House and Senate late last week. The House
passed the measure by voice vote Wednesday while the Senate is
expected to vote today or Friday.
Appropriation of the $7.6 million is expected when Congress
returns from its August recess.
The program is geared to helping local industry, Miller said.
"Computer Assisted Technology Transfer is a program geared
toward transferring manufacturing and information technologies
developed by federal agencies to industry within the state of
Oklahoma," Miller said. …