Air Force Contracting follows guiding principles

  • Published
  • By Maj. Roderick R. Edwards
  • 97th Contracting Squadron
The 97th Contracting Squadron's mission is to provide for all contract requirements through various procurement instruments to enable mission accomplishment and protect the rights and dollars of the American taxpayers. Our unit vision is to acquire timely, superior services and products to enable mission success. The bottom line is we are responsible for providing the goods and services that you require to perform your mission in support of the 97th Air Mobility Wing.

As the Commander of the 97th Contracting Squadron, it is my responsibility to ensure its members conduct and monitor business practices in such a manner that ensures Congress, taxpayers, internal and external customers, as well as my fellow contracting professionals, have complete faith in our contract actions and decision processes. The Air Force core values and the Air Contracting Guiding Principles are the basis for our actions as we support the 97th AMW mission both home and abroad. As Air Force members, we are all familiar with the core values but I am not sure that personnel outside of the contracting profession are familiar with the Air Force Contracting Principles.

I understand that the contracting process can be frustrating at times, but as a taxpayer, please rest assured that Air Force Contracting professionals will:

Stand up and do the right thing to ensure integrity and fairness of the procurement system
I make the tough decisions and I stand by others in the acquisition workforces who do the same.
I accept that my judgment will be scrutinized and I welcome review.
I disclose waste, fraud, and abuse when I suspect it exists.

Never award a contract at the expense of integrity
I award contracts that are consistent with the policy, regulations, rules and laws.
I ensure decisions are made with sound judgment and prudent business acumen, without
regard for personal gain.

Know the fundamentals, think innovatively, and remain focused on the details
I maintain the appropriate level of proficiency and keep myself technically competent in
this ever-evolving career field.
I ensure my decision-making is well-founded, impartial and documented thoroughly.

Care for one another by sharing our knowledge and experiences
I am committed to upholding a culture recognized for its competency, integrity, courage
and professionalism.
I am committed to ensuring my experiences, knowledge and skills are shared with
fellow contracting professionals.

Passionately protect the image of our Nation, our Air Force, and our contracting profession
I accept that compliance, credibility, and long-term reputation are more important than
short-term gains.
I ensure internal and external stakeholders in the acquisition process are aware of
my commitment to the guiding principles and acquisition standards, rules and regulations.
I expect others in my profession to adhere to these principles and my mentoring and actions will reflect this expectation.

The aforementioned guidance provides the members of 97th CONS a moral compass, of sorts, as we are tested daily with current fiscal challenges, smaller vendor bases' and increased congressional oversight. To continue meeting these demands, we must strive to find innovative ways to serve the needs of our customers and stakeholders while balancing our obligations to Congress and the American taxpayers. The 97th CONS, with tremendous support, has been able to sustain a tradition of excellence and we must continue to build on our history of successes while embracing future opportunities.