In 2019, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) contracted with TOTE Services LLC to be the vessel construction manager for the construction of up to five national security multi-mission vessels (NSMVs). This shipbuilding contract is unique in that it is not based on the DFARS or the Navy’s acquisition rules, but was awarded as a commercial item service contract by a civilian agency seeking to utilize the best practices in commercial ship construction.
Jeff Vogel led negotiations on behalf of TOTE with Philly Shipyard and helped ensure a government contract worth $1.5 billion that is projected to bring 1,200 skilled shipbuilding jobs to the shipyard over the course of the contract. Using a commercial items approach to federal shipbuilding is innovative, but it posed interesting challenges as well. Jeff will share his experience as he navigated between commercial item contracting and domestic maritime practices at the first meeting of the year for the Commercial Product and Service Committee.