May 21, 1993
TO THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS
SUBJECT: Value Engineering
2. Supersession Information
5. Relationship to other management improvement processes
8. Agency responsibilities
9. Reports to OMB
10. Inspectors General audits
11. Related Guidance
12. Effective date and Implementation
13. Sunset review
VE originated in the industrial community, and it has spread to the Federal Government due to its potential for yielding a large return on investment. VE has long been recognized as an effective technique to lower the Government's cost while maintaining necessary quality levels. Its most extensive use has been in Federal acquisition programs.
An August 1991 recent audit of VE in the Federal Government by the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency concluded that more can and should be done by Federal agencies to realize the benefits of VE. Reports issued by the General Accounting Office and agency Inspectors General have also consistently concluded that greater use of this technique would result in additional savings to the Government.
VE contributes to the overall management objectives of streamlining operations, improving quality, reducing costs, and can result in the increased use of environmentally-sound and energy-efficient practices and materials. The complementary relationship between VE and other management techniques increases the likelihood that overall management objectives are achieved.
b. Life-cycle cost. The total cost of a system, building, or other product, computed over its useful life. It includes all relevant costs involved in acquiring, owning, operating, maintaining, and disposing of the system or product over a specified period of time, including environmental and energy costs.
c. Cost savings. A reduction in actual expenditures below the projected level of costs to achieve a specific objective.
d. Cost avoidance. An action taken in the immediate time frame that will decrease costs in the future. For example, an engineering improvement that increases the mean time between failures and thereby decreases operation and maintenance costs is a cost avoidance action.
e. In-house savings. Net life-cycle cost savings achieved by in-house agency staff using VE techniques.
f. Contracted savings. Net life-cycle cost savings realized by contracting for the performance of a VE study or by a Value Engineering Change Proposal submitted by a contractor.
g. Total Quality Management (TQM). A customer-based management philosophy for improving the quality of products and increasing customer satisfaction by restructuring traditional management practices. An integral part of TQM is continuous process improvement, which is achieved by using analytical techniques to determine the causes of problems. The goal is not just to fix problems but to improve processes so that the problems do not recur. Value engineering can be used as an analytical technique in the TQM process.
h. Value Engineering. An organized effort directed at analyzing the functions of systems, equipment, facilities, services, and supplies for the purpose of achieving the essential functions at the lowest life-cycle cost consistent with required performance, reliability, quality, and safety. These organized efforts can be performed by both in-house agency personnel and by contractor personnel.
i. Value Engineering Change Proposal (VECP). A proposal submitted by a contractor under the VE provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) that, through a change in a project's plans, designs, or specifications as defined in the contract, would lower the project's life-cycle cost to the Government.
j. Value Engineering Proposal (VEP). An in-house agency-developed proposal, or a proposal developed by a contractor under contract to provide VE services, to provide VE studies for a Government project/program.
b. Develop criteria and guidelines for both in-house personnel and contractors to identify programs/projects with the most potential to yield savings from the application of VE techniques. The criteria and guidelines should recognize that the potential savings are greatest during the planning, design, and other early phases of project/program/system/product development. Agency guidelines will include:
c. Assign responsibility to the senior management official designated pursuant to [[section]]8a above, to grant waivers of the requirement to conduct VE studies on certain programs and projects. This responsibility may be delegated to other appropriate officials.
d. Provide training in VE techniques to agency staff responsible for coordinating and monitoring VE efforts and for staff responsible for developing, reviewing, analyzing, and carrying out VE proposals, change proposals, and evaluations.
e. Ensure that funds necessary for conducting agency VE efforts are included in annual budget requests to OMB.
f. Maintain files on projects/programs/systems/products that meet agency criteria for requiring the use of VE techniques. Documentation should include reasons for granting waivers of VE studies on projects/programs which met agency criteria. Reasons for not implementing recommendations made in VE proposals should also be documented.
g. Adhere to the acquisition requirements of the FAR, including the use of VE clauses set forth in Parts 48 and 52.
h. Develop annual plans for using VE in the agency. At a minimum, the plans should identify both the in-house and contractor projects, programs, systems, products, etc., to which VE techniques will be applied in the next fiscal year, and the estimated costs of these projects. These projects should be listed by category, as required in the agency's annual report to OMB. VEP's and VECP's should be included under the appropriate category. Annual plans will be made available for OMB review upon request.
i. Report annually to OMB on VE activities, as outlined below.
The report format is provided in the Attachment.
Part I of the report asks for net life-cycle cost savings achieved through VE. In addition, it requires agencies to show the project/program dollar amount thresholds the agency has established for requiring the use of VE if greater than $1 million. If thresholds vary by category, show the thresholds for all categories. Savings resulting from VE proposals and VE change proposals should be included under the appropriate categories.
Part II asks for a description of the top 20 fiscal year VE projects (or all projects if there are fewer than 20). List the projects by title and show the net life-cycle cost savings and quality improvements achieved through application of VE.
Part III requires agencies to submit a detailed schedule of year-by-year cost savings, cost avoidances and cost sharing with contractors for each program/project for which the agency is reporting cost savings or cost avoidances. The aggregate total of all schedules shall equal the totals reported in Part I.A. of the annual report.
Pursuant to subsections 6(a) of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act, as amended, (41 U.S.C. 401 et seq.), the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Councils shall ensure that the policies established herein are incorporated in the FAR within 180 days from the date this Circular is published in final form in the Federal Register. Promulgation of final FAR regulations within that 180 day period shall be considered issuance in a "timely manner" as prescribed in 41 USC 405(b)."