National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA is funded through a combination of sources. It partners with a wide range of universities and colleges, non-profit organizations, for-profit organizations, and state entities, and obligates approximately $1 billion annually, and manages an active grant and financial assistance portfolio of roughly $4 billion. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 provides a total of $6.1B for NOAA, which includes $4.42 billion for NOAA Operations, Research and Facilities (ORF) and $1.69 billion in Procurement, Acquisition and Construction (PAC)2.
Contract closeout is the final stage of the government contracting process and is necessary to verify full contract compliance, ensure proper expenditure of funds, free up excess funds for another purpose, and protect both Government and contractor interests. A large portion of NOAA contracts at this stage are “zero dollar contract closeouts”, meaning no funds remain obligated or unpaid on the contract. This means that the next steps of contract closeout may proceed without having to first de-obligate funds or obtain a final invoice from the contractor to pay funds owed.
Once a contract has been determined to be a zero dollar contract (ZDC), the closeout process consists of ensuring contractor performance has been documented appropriately, obtaining a contractor release of claims, performing a financial closeout in the C Award system, performing a contract closeout in the C Award system, ensuring the closeout file is complete with the appropriate closeout checklist, completing the closeout in FPDS, and following closeout and records management procedures.
To understand the advantages of UiPath’s integration of RPA and AI software robots, which learn from human behavior to automate highly complex tasks, IT Concepts (ITC) initially conceptualized the ZDC workflow from start to close-out (pun intended!). We then employed our Agile bot development methodology to design and construct automations, ensuring rigorous validation, efficacy, and user acceptance testing throughout the process.
This UIPath implementation boosts efficiency by releasing NOAA AGO from tedious and repetitive tasks, allowing them to spend their time on more valuable acquisition activities to support the NOAA mission through the identification and clearing and $0 contract close outs before award end of life and using the performance and time saved data to continuously improve processes, and surpass current manual procedures.
Assuming 100% of the 657 Zero Dollar Close-Outs (ZDCs) are fully processed, 1,650 hours will be saved, 2.5 hours per ZDC average time savings.
“Automating the ZDC closeout process reduces the amount of time spent on non-analytical tasks required to close out ZDCs”