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Proposed Navy change to Base Access raises industry concerns:
Navy makes swap of systems that let contractors on base
By William Cole, April 18, 2017
The provider of a base access system for commercial activity is raising concern about a little-noticed change by the Navy in Hawaii and on the mainland to what’s known as the "Defense Biometrics Identification System."
All four Defense Department services and the Coast Guard use SureID's RAPIDGate program in Hawaii, which requires background checks to allow contractors, vendors and service providers onto a base in a speedy manner, said SureID Inc. President Jim Robell. The program is described as being like a Transportation Security Administration Pre-Check for contractors.
But in a memo dated Wednesday, the Navy Installations Command said that effective immediately, ashore installations in Hawaii, on Guam and on the mainland would switch from the privately held RAPIDGate program — known as the Navy Commercial Access Control System — to the new government-run biometrics program, initially with paper passes and then ID badges.
What we know:
Pursuant to a policy change, The Navy announced that it was eliminating the NCAS (RAPIDGATE) program, "To improve management and force protection at Navy Installations." The following timeline has been provided:
All contractors/vendors who currently hold RAPIDGATE Credentials will need new credentials before 15 July17. DBIDS credentials will be issued for the remainder of the term on the existing credential. RAPIDGATE Cards will still be accepted until 15 July17. This change impacts the Navy only at this point.
- 17 April17 – Phase I begins. RAPIDGATE will no longer be allowed to accept new customers. Issuance of DBIDS credentials begins.
- 15 July17 – RAPIDGATE credentials will stop working.
- 12 OCT17 – Phase II completed. DBIDS becomes the system of record.
What we do not know:
This change appears to deviate from the intent of congress expressed in the 2008 NDAA where commercial firms who met strict government standards on vetting and credential security were allowed to issue credentials for physical and logical access to DoD facilities and systems. It appears congress will have to determine the ultimate end game in this case.
SUREID (RAPIDGATE) has existing contractual terms with the Navy for the RAPIDGATE program. This will have to be sorted out in any event.
ALA is working with RAPIDGATE and the DoD to provide real-time information on program status and administrative procedures for gaining base access going forward.
With a swipe of a pen, President Donald Trump issued a new executive order directing the federal government to reemphasize "Buy American" laws — a move, which analysts say could impact the existing supply chain for the U.S. defense industry.
Buy American, Hire American Presidential Executive Order
Trump directive affirms long-standing military resale program agenda
President Donald Trump signed an executive order April 18, 2017 that promotes the purchase by federal agencies of American products and encourages the use of American labor.
The order calls for heads of "all" federal agencies to "conduct top-to-bottom assessments aimed removing loopholes to buy American restrictions, including the 1933 Buy American Act. The Agencies have 150 days to conduct these reviews. These reviews will then go to the Department of Commerce, which must produce an overall government plan within 220 days. While the Executive Order did not change any of the Federal Acquisition Regulations, it is expected that the ensuing reviews will prompt recommendations to change these regulations along with prompting legislative proposals from the Administration to further the promotion and use of American products by the government.
The Department of Defense currently uses appropriations to ship American products to commissaries and exchanges at overseas bases — a program in furtherance of the President's objectives in the program. Congress traditionally has authorized the use of appropriations for shipment of products to overseas commissaries and exchanges not only because it promotes American jobs, but also because it provides name-brand recognizable American products to the troops in far-flung and unfamiliar environments. While it is not specifically prescribed, it is expected that the directive will place heavy scrutiny on off-shore purchases by the military and encourage the shipment of more American products overseas. There have been a number of suggestions within resale agencies to purchase more products from nations hosting U.S. military bases, the latest of which was a program by the Defense Commissary Agency to purchase more produce from overseas sources. These programs are often either implemented or thwarted before implementation over concerns about quality or impact on American industry.
Buy America programs are a two-sided issue for the Defense oversight committees and for the DoD itself. On one hand, promoting American products helps American industry but, on the other hand, limiting sources to American companies can often increase costs to the DoD, running counter to a whole host of efficiency reforms in acquisition and in personnel areas that are aimed at freeing-up funding for direct combat-related purposes.
The Executive Order underscores the points that were made by the ALA at the inception of the Trump Administration that the resale program supports most of the major tenets of the President's agenda, including:
The Presidential Executive Order in its entirety can be accessed here.
- Promoting American products
- Providing for our troops, Veterans and families
- Providing the American people with an accountable government
- Promoting public-private partnerships
- Promoting innovation and delivery of benefits and government programs in an innovative and efficient manner
Also below is a re-issuing of the statement by ALA on how the resale agencies and industry support The Administration's agenda:
FOR: President Donald J. Trump
FROM: Over 32 million military resale and MWR beneficiaries and more than a 150 thousand industry and resale and MWR employees
DATE: February 10, 2017
SUBJECT: Military resale system supportive of key elements of your Administration's agenda to Make America Great Again
Here, Mr. President is a program that you can point to as one that needs to be replicated in Government and not decimated at the altar of hasty and radical cost cutting and experimentation. It's a fragile ecology built up over the years and carefully constituted to give the troops, their families and America the best bang for the buck.
Supporting strong National Defense. The Sun never sets on the vast network of commissaries, Veterans Canteens, and Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine and Coast Guard exchanges that operate 24/7 worldwide from Guantanamo to the Korea Demilitarized Zone to Afghanistan and Iraq. In support of our Armed Forces and their families at both their home bases and in far-flung and forward deployed areas. With operations aboard ships, providing school lunches overseas, providing plants to generate bread and water, forward distribution centers, tactical field exchanges and so much more that is vital to the support, readiness and direct operational support of our military members. The program adapts to military force structure and basing changes, expanding and contracting to meet the needs of an ever-evolving military. And, it keeps good people in the Service because when the family is happy, everyone is happy.
Enhancing quality of life for service men and women. The system provides all of those name-brand, recognizable products and services that Americans have come to love. This includes everything from name-brand fast food to the best brands that they have come to love — thousands of brands that represent a little touch of America wherever our dedicated military serves — and at savings to them from 20 to 50 percent, greatly stretching the household income of millions of military and Veteran families.
Supporting Veterans. Not only do Veterans benefit from using these programs, the system employs thousands of Veterans and is the top employer of wounded warriors and disabled Veterans.
Employing family members. Over 50 percent of employees in these operations have a military affiliation, with almost one-third being military family members. That's money that's cranked right back into the military community and into military households.
Holding Government employees accountable. As the only true business-based operations in Government, every decision that commissary, exchange and MWR employees make is under the business microscope because the more money they make, the more is plowed back into their own community support programs.
It's a benefit that is used the most by those who need it the most. Junior enlisted, junior officers with families, and retirees and Veterans on fixed incomes are the primary users of these programs. It directly provides nonpay compensation for service men and women that we can never pay enough for their sacrifice and service.
Maximizing efficiency in Government operations. We challenge anyone to name a program in Government that can make the claim that it gives back to the Defense Department, the American People, and the Nation more than it consumes. Over a hundred thousand managers and employees along with their industry partners have taken out more than $1 billion a year in operating costs.
Bringing proven business practices to make Government work better. Every manager and employee involved in these programs brings the best of breed business practices to bear because their report card is the bottom line.
Backs up with tangible deeds the words "Thank you for your Service." These programs touch the troops each and every day in many, many ways and tell them that America loves them and cares about their well-being.
Providing for accountability and transparency in Government. You want accountability — you got accountability with these programs that consistently have a clean audit year in and year out ... something that few DoD programs can claim.
Supporting American industry and promoting American products and tipping the balance of trade in favor of America. Every day, across the globe, Americans are consuming products made in America through a sophisticated and complex distribution network that makes sure America's industry is supported.
Bringing together the best attributes of the private sector and public sector to create a working partnership. This system provides the optimal mix of out-sourcing and in-sourcing Government functions, allowing the troops to benefit from all of the advantages of both Federal and business status.
Supporting a multitude of benevolent programs for our Military and Veterans. From the USO to Fisher House, NFL ProCamps for military kids, and Blue Star families, the system and the American industry that supports it contribute and underwrite the costs of operating these vital programs.
Providing a system that self-generates funding and gives back more to the Nation and the American people than it consumes. Over the past 20 years, this system has donated over $15 billion in facilities to the Federal inventory and over $10 billion to support needed military community and family support programs. This, along with military patron savings and direct and indirect contributions to military readiness and Federal assets, make it a program that your Administration can be proud of.
The contributions and more are detailed in a report, The Costs and Benefits of the Department of Defense Resale System.
The plaintiff says the Defense Department is covering up ways in which large contractors hog work intended for smaller companies.
The Navy has banned electronic cigarettes and vaping devices throughout the fleet, citing concerns that the battery-powered gadgets can explode and injure sailors.
Army Maj. Gen. Alan B. Salisbury (ret.), Airforce Times
Since 1974, America has depended on an all-volunteer military for our national defense. Overall, this force has performed magnificently, in many cases exceeding the expectations of the original architects and surprising many of the naysayers. Even in the face of 15 years of war (and counting), the all-volunteer force has proven to be sustainable at the present levels with relatively little adjustment to its selection criteria.
Defense officials can't tell you how many contractors they employ or at what cost. Finding out is critical to personnel reform.
Specific information on upcoming ALA events is posted regularly on the ALA website. To learn more about each event, please click the following links:
||2017 Customer Appreciation Golf Tournament
|Join your colleagues and DeCA partners at the Cardinal Golf Club in Fort Lee, for lunch at 11:30 a.m. with tee time of 12 p.m. Download the details and a registration form here. |
||2017 Commissary Roundtable
|Online registration will open soon. Don't miss this event! Richmond Marriott, Richmond, VA |
||2017 Congressional Caucus
|Mark your calendars! Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC |
||2017 West Point Charity Golf Outing
|The ALA New York Chapter will hold a golf outing to benefit the Military Commanders' Scholarship Fund. Golfers and non-Golfers welcome. Register before April 18 for early bird pricing.
||70th Annual Convention
|Save the Date for the upcoming ALA Annual Convention. Norfolk Waterside Marriott, Norfolk, VA|
||ALA Dallas Chapter Christmas Lunch and Auction
|Time: 11:30 am to 2:30 pm.
Las Colinas Country Club
The latest congressional impasse over the federal budget could hit troops' bonuses starting in May, unless a deal is reached in the next few weeks. Pentagon leaders have been warning lawmakers for weeks that some of their proposed budget fixes could leave military units without enough funds for equipment maintenance, training hours and base programs.
A congressional proposal to make service members buy into their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits surprised veterans groups, with advocates divided over whether it amounts to a long-term fix for the benefit or an unfair bill for veterans. The plan would deduct $2,400 from future service members' paychecks to establish eligibility for revamped post-military education benefits.
The Army is knee-deep in its effort to grow the active component to 476,000 soldiers by the end of September. The next step: Bringing Army Reserve and National Guard troops on active duty. The move is part of an ongoing effort to grow the Army by 16,000 in the active force and 28,000 overall by Sept. 30 — and it marks a reversal of a drawdown that had been going on for years.
U.S. Department of Defense
Since 1994, when tragedy strikes a military family, TAPS has been there. The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors has helped 70,000 surviving family members cope with the devastating loss of loved ones. "What TAPS really means to those of us still in uniform is that someone is always going to be there for us and our families, especially if we confront tragedy," said Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and keynote speaker at the TAPS Honor Guard Gala.
Commissary Web Posts
The following commissary items were recently posted to the ALA Website:
- DP #11, CONUS, Alaska & Hawaii Push Promotion Quantities.
- DP #13, Far East Promotion & Shipper/Pallet/OTB Quantities.
NOTICES TO TRADE (NTT)
- None Received.
- Adds/Changes/Deletes, Week 17-16, May Reset Final List, Adds/Deletes, March 21, 2017, and June 2017 CPI Resets, Adds/Changes/Deletes.
- FY 17 Guard/Reserve CONUS On-Site Sale Schedule, April 14, 2017.
- CRV Values, April 16, 2017.
Tops Markets LLC will offer a special class to enable young chefs to create a special treat for their moms. Just in time for Mother's Day, A Tribute to Mom teaches kids 12 and up how to prepare a simple but sumptuous meal, and even how to clean up afterward.
Grocery stores could be making headway in their ongoing battle for food market share against Walmart and Costco in Canada, according to a new industry report. Although the two retail giants registered growth in Canada through most of 2016, their rate of growth in food sales slowed considerably from prior years, according to Kevin Grier Market Analysis and Consulting.
The Wall Street Journal
Whole Foods Market Inc. wants to cut prices without sacrificing the local products that define its healthy image.
Investors are pushing the organic food pioneer to boost profit by operating more like a big-box grocer. Some smaller suppliers and industry consultants say the shift to a more centralized distribution structure and other changes risk compromising Whole Foods' ability to keep stocked with the latest foodie trends.
Supervalu plans to continue offering Unified Grocers' private brands to Unified's customers upon completion of their planned merger, Supervalu President and CEO Mark Gross said.
Is fresh overrated?
Well, no. Although nonperishable products have definitely gained traction as part of a distinctive in-store experience, to differentiate themselves meaningfully, grocers must still primarily think fresh.
In rating the most successful departments, 67.1 percent of respondents to this year's Annual Report survey chose meat as the top draw, while deli/grocerant/prepared foods occupied the second spot, with 60.8 percent attesting to its popularity.
A dip in ingredients may translate to a rise in sales as young adults turn their attention to the nutrition labels of their snack choices.
According to a recent study by Amplify Snack Brands Inc. and the Center for Generational Kinetics, 64 percent of millennials believe that fewer ingredients on a label make for a healthier snack.
A recent Harris Poll revealed that 25 percent of adults purchased a meal kit in 2016 and 70 percent of meal kit purchasers have continued to buy them, according to Own Brands Now. The top reasons for purchasing meal kits, according to the study, were saving time on meal planning (46 percent) and shortening preparation and cooking times (45 percent).
By Bambi Majumdar
When it comes to produce, the fresh vs. frozen debate has been going on for years. However, a new study in the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis has revealed interesting results. It seems fresh fruits and vegetables may not worthy of the pedestal we have put them on. The study uncovered that fresh produce loses out on nutrients and vitamins even when stored properly in the fridge. Frozen fruits and veggies fared better when it came to retaining and preserving their nutrients.
At the Hill Exchange, military shoppers are always No. 1. That's why Exchange managers want to meet them and listen to their questions, comments and concerns.
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service's Meet the Manager program gives Soldiers, families and retirees a chance to learn more about their Exchange benefit and let managers know whether any aspect of the shopping experience needs improvement.
The Gold Standard
According to the University of Southern Indiana, the amount of paper thrown away in the United States every year is equivalent to about 1 billion trees. Much of this waste is from paper receipts.
To help reduce paper usage, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service offers shoppers the option to receive an electronic receipt instead of a printed one. Shoppers simply select "eReceipt" when prompted and provide the email address to which they would like their receipt delivered.
President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order aimed at boosting the economy by instituting a "more muscular" approach to prioritizing American workers and products through federal immigration, procurement and trade laws.
"Buy American is the Trump administration's highest priority when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars," a senior administration official told reporters at a background briefing.
The implications for federal agencies and federal contractors are significant.
The Washington Post
Artificial intelligence is being touted as a tool for addressing some of humanity's most pressing problems, including climate change and cancer. But starting this week, you can put it to work for something a little more prosaic: Ordering a hoagie.
For Wal-Mart shoppers, it will soon pay to go to the store.
Starting soon, the world's largest retailer will give customers a discount on 10,000 online-only items if they pick them up in-store. By the end of June, the service will be rolled out across more than 1 million items.
Some have called it the retail apocalypse. Others refer to it the great retail meltdown. And while hyperbole is the best thing ever, these pronouncements serve as better clickbait than sound analyses. Worse, it makes it sound like every retailer is struggling and that physical retail is doomed.
Nobody knows what the future holds, but that has never stopped anyone trying to predict it. It’s a game countless US retailers are engaged in right now, while their industry shudders under the pressures of e-commerce, an overabundance of brick-and-mortar stores, and changing consumer spending habits. The ongoing “retail apocalypse” is forcing them to question the value of their physical stores.
As many as 77 percent of consumers rely on a mobile device when shopping in-store, significantly more than the 35 percent who prefer to speak to a sales associate when they have questions about a product. According to a study by Salsify, the need for informed product content has never been more essential, as even in-store shoppers are turning to digital for information. For those surveyed, 87 percent agreed that rich, accurate and complete product content is very important when deciding what to buy.
While it won't be as big a windfall as when Circuit City went out of business, Best Buy is expected to pick up extra business from the impending demise of HHGregg.
The question now is how much. Several retailers that sell appliances, such as Home Depot and Lowe's, are also expected to get a piece of the pie.
The retail industry prides itself on its heritage. Department stores like Sears and Macy’s were founded just before the turn of the 20th century and have both weathered the tests of time, despite challenges brought on by economic downturns and transformative technologies such as the landline, the internet and, most recently, the smartphone.
It was a record-breaking year for in-store convenience store sales, which hit $233 billion in calendar year 2016, data from the National Association of Convenience Stores 2016 indicated. Among the top performers were nonalcoholic beverages and sweet and salty snacks.
Jeff Ernst, a package delivery driver, stopped at Gretna's Kum & Go gas station for the fuel he'd need for his day's run: a sausage-and-egg croissant sandwich for breakfast, a king-size Reese's Peanut Butter Cup for a snack, and a 44-ounce Diet Mountain Dew he said would last him all day. Customers like Ernst, 58, are a big reason convenience stores are on a profitable run.
Convenince Store News
For a convenience store retailer, partnering with a well-known foodservice brand can provide a boost in visibility, resulting in increased foot traffic and greater total rings.
In order to maximize profits, it is important that both parties — the branded foodservice partner and the retailer (who is often a franchisee) — work together in harmony for the partnership to function at top efficiency. Step one for the C-store retailer is to find the right foodservice partner.
Those of a certain age can remember when stopping inside a convenience store after filling the tank meant food choices limited to Twinkies, pretzels and pop while being enveloped in the smell of scorched coffee and hot dogs.
Now, shoppers have more options, as gas stations like Giant Eagle's GetGo, Sheetz and 7-Eleven have begun offering healthier options beyond chips and cigarettes. Maybe a freshly made smoothie or something from the espresso bar.
CSP Daily News
Russia could take control of CITGO Petroleum Corp. and possibly gain the ability to affect U.S. retail gasoline prices if Petroleos de Venezuela SA defaults on a loan from Russian oil company Rosneft.
CSP Daily News
7-Eleven, the world's largest convenience retailer, has gone live with Riskonnect's Risk Management Information System to power its claims management, policy management and property data collection processes in the United States and Canada.
Riskonnect RMIS helps companies increase operational efficiencies with added systems integration capabilities that reduces redundant data entry and increases data integrity.
School lunch prices will increase at Defense Department schools on overseas bases in the fall.
Elementary school lunches will rise to $2.75, and secondary school lunches will cost $3. It's a hike of 25 cents or less, depending on branch of service and location.
At the Hill Exchange, military shoppers are always No. 1. That's why Exchange managers want to meet them and listen to their questions, comments and concerns.
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s Meet the Manager program gives Soldiers, families and retirees a chance to learn more about their Exchange benefit and let managers know whether any aspect of the shopping experience needs improvement.
The Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Directorate is making Army-wide changes to all programs to better align with the readiness and resiliency initiatives set by Army senior leaders.
During a March 23 Association of the U.S. Army "Hot Topic" forum about installation management, Stephanie Hoehne, the director for FMWR, Installation Management Command, outlined some of the changes.
7701 Las Colinas Ridge, Ste. 800, Irving, TX 75063