Business Practices for Technical Services

Electronic Service Agreement Model (ESAM)


Reclamation’s Coordination and Oversight Group identified a need for a consistent set of Service Agreement and Completion Report data to facilitate analysis of technical service cost and performance information for nine service provider offices that provide specialized science and engineering support to Reclamation Program Offices. These nine service provider offices include five regional office technical (science & engineering) organizations, three construction offices, and the Technical Services Center.

The COG approached the Chief Information Office in the spring of 2009 to pursue development and implementation of a computer system to meet the COG’s needs.  After evaluating multiple alternatives to meet the COG’s business objectives, the CIO and COG chose to modify and update the existing NewMIS application used by the TSC, and rename it the “Electronic Service Agreement Module” or ESAM for short.  A two phase approach for this web-based software module was planned for accomplishing the development: Phase 1 front end re-write and Phase 2 back end optimization.

During production of Phase 1, several issues were identified that limited the application’s ability to be deployed. Therefore, in the Fall of 2009, the decision was made to re-focus production efforts on Phase 2.

ESAM Business Objectives

In order to collect pertinent cost and schedule data using sound project management principles, the COG approached the CIO in the spring of 2009 to pursue development and implementation of a software application. After evaluating multiple alternatives, the CIO and COG chose to model the existing New Management Information Center application, currently used by the TSC, to collect similar data and develop the new web-based Electronic Service Agreement Module program. This option was chosen as the most cost-effective and minimally disruptive means to achieve the goals.

The SPOs develop individual service agreements on a job-by-job basis to meet the needs of their customers. Several thousand SAs are developed each fiscal year, with some spanning multiple years. Each agreement has a scope of work, budget, and schedule. Work performed by the SPO is charged to the customer on a fee-for-service basis. To meet the requirement of monitoring performance measures of schedule and budget, the COG has specified that ESAM will include the following features:

  • Develop and maintain budgets and schedules for service agreements
  • Track both labor and nonlabor costs incurred
  • Produce completion reports for Reclamation service provider offices
  • Produce the necessary financial data and files to support an optional billable rate methodology for charging labor costs

Current Status

A two-phase approach for the web-based software module was originally planned for accomplishing the development: Phase 1 user interface (input) development and Phase 2 database (output) optimization. During production of Phase 1, several technical problems occurred which prevented the deployment of the application. In fall 2009, the decision was made to refocus production efforts combining Phases 1 and 2 into a single deliverable. Production on ESAM continues with an unknown deployment date.

Frequently Asked Questions

Case Studies / Success Stories

The following are examples of the successful implementation of the business model for technical service projects.

Resource Documents

The Deputy Commissioner, Operations is responsible for ensuring that the business practices incorporated in the business model achieve their intended purposes. The COG will collect and analyze data from engineering and other technical service providers and will make this information available. This data will enable the DCO to establish standards against which future performance can be measured and will also provide the means to be transparent in these decisions.

Finalized annual reports, matrices, work plans, advance planning spreadsheets, etc., will be linked below as they become available.


Last Updated: 6/15/15