SECURITY COOPERATION INFORMATION PORTAL (SCIP)

SECURITY COOPERATION INFORMATION PORTAL (SCIP)

SECURITY COOPERATION INFORMATION PORTAL (SCIP)

By John O’Connor, DISAM

Introduction / Overview

Did the US Air Force receive my country’s latest Letter of Request (LOR)? When is the US Navy going to complete the development of the Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA)? Is there a way that I can track a requisition to determine when the material will be shipped, and to also get specific details on the shipment once it occurs? Is there a way to develop metrics reports (e.g. implemented cases, open offers, Anticipated Offer Date performance, etc.) for all my cases of interest? Is there a system to manage my End Use Monitoring (EUM) responsibilities?

Answers to these questions and many other related ones can be obtained with a Security Cooperation Information Portal (SCIP) account. This article provides an overview of the SCIP system with details on how it can provide case management support to authorized users. For many of those users (e.g. Foreign Purchasers, United States Security Cooperation Organizations—SCOs, Geographic Combatant Commanders—GCCs, etc.), SCIP will be the primary (if not only) automated means to obtain such answers for the cases of interest that they are managing or involved with. For other users, it will augment additional systems that they have access to with important data and reports that they need to effectively manage the Security Cooperation cases that they are responsible for.

System Description

SCIP (https://www.scportal.us/home/) is a secure, controlled, unclassified US Department of Defense (DoD) web-based computer information system that provides authorized users with access to Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and Building Partner Capacity (BPC) programs case-related data and reports to support management responsibilities for those cases. All USG personnel (including Locally Employed Staff —LES, and contractors), and Foreign Purchasers (including their authorized Freight Forwarders) that have job responsibilities requiring access (i.e. need to know) to the SCIP system information are eligible to obtain SCIP accounts. DSCA’s policy[1] is that “USG personnel and SCOs are encouraged to become familiar with SCIP's full capabilities.”

The SCIP data extracts are obtained (automatically for most of the data) from multiple authoritative DoD and US military department (MILDEP) financial and logistic systems (See figure 1 for reference). The majority of data is updated daily via a batch process at 0700 US East Coast time. Refresh status indicators and info are provided to users in the Case Info Community to document the date/time of the last data refresh from those systems. Depending on the data being sought and the user's permissions, having a single SCIP account can save time from having to obtain that data from each individual source system. SCIP became operational in 2003 and has been significantly expanded and improved upon since then. SCIP system access is available world-wide from any computer (i.e. does not have to be from a USG or DoD domain) as long as there is adequate internet access, and an active authorized SCIP user account.

Functionality

SCIP capabilities, applications, and reports are separated by tabs into different “communities.” See figure 2 for reference. Some of the SCIP communities are only authorized for USG users. A brief description of each community (and the related capabilities and applications) follows.

Home Community – The first page users see when they successfully logon to SCIP. Like all the SCIP communities, there are announcements to inform the user of all the recently completed and planned changes to that community. Users can use the community navigation bar (figure 2) at the top of the web page to navigate to any of their authorized communities.

Case Information Community – Provides a query capability to view all FMS and BPC case information that the user has been authorized to have access to. SCIP displays region, country, or case data of interest depending upon the application and filter options that the user chooses. The application is chosen by the user via the Case Information menu bar. Each community has a unique menu bar (located directly below the Community navigation menu bar and available once the desired community is selected) that provides the user with the capability to select their desired community application or report. In the Case Information Community, some of those applications include real-time metrics (that can be quickly exported to a PowerPoint slide if desired), data inputs (requisitions, supply discrepancy reports [SDRs], freight transactions), Financial Management Reviews FMRs, Ad Hoc reports, and a Case Status filter to enable the user to quickly find cases of interest. For all cases that the user is authorized to see, the user is presented with a “Pyramid of Choices” (see figure 3 for reference) for all the case’s Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) documents (Basic, Amendments, Modifications). Selecting any one of those pyramid levels will provide the user with specific case details (e.g. what is the LOA Anticipated Offer Date, when is the requisition material expected to be shipped, are there any unprogrammed case funds remaining, etc.) pertaining to that level. A summary report of all or a portion of that case data can be exported to a MS Excel file.

Case Execution Community – Provides links to several tri-service applications including the Enhanced Freight Tracking System (EFTS), EMALL, Asset Visibility (AV), and the recently added WebRoR (formerly a Navy only application that automates the repair of repairable process). “EFTS is a secure web-based application, resident in the SCIP, and serves as a consolidated source for Security Cooperation material in-transit information. EFTS does not replace existing shipment systems, but rather provides a clearing house of all available shipment information in a single supplemental tracking system to provide additional visibility of equipment and material shipment. EFTS receives data from DLA, contractors, depots, Defense Transportation System, carriers, freight forwarders, consolidation points, and ports of embarkation and debarkation. This allows EFTS to provide visibility of the SC material distribution pipeline for all classes of supply and modes of transportation either outbound from the United States to the purchaser's country or materiel returning to the United States or  US facility overseas.”[2]

EUM (End-Use Monitoring) Community – Provides authorized users with specific information, reports, and capabilities to the DoD End-Use Monitoring (EUM) Program. The EUM applications within SCIP provides inventory reports that will help inspectors plan for upcoming inventories and isolate items that are considered ‘delinquent.’

Partner Info Community– Provides an information sharing type of community vice a business process or business application community. It includes (among other items) documents, presentations, and files related to the Foreign Procurement Group (FPG), and International Customer User Group (ICUG).

National Geo-spatial Agency (NGA) Community – Allows authorized SCIP users to access, review, and download navigation charts (e.g. aeronautical en route and approach charts, terminal procedures, etc. for necessary international navigation and flight safety).

SCMS (COP) Security Cooperation Management Suite Community– Is authorized only for USG personnel to support case management responsibilities for Building Partner Capacity (BPC) and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) cases. “SCMS resides within the SCIP and is a joint service, web-based capability that provides US officials with a common operating picture of the SC process. SCMS has joint  US military and civilian users globally from all branches of the  US armed forces and associated support Commands, which increases joint communication resulting in enhanced decision making. SCMS provides USG personnel with key information used to track high priority FMS programs, and is especially useful during the oversight process for expiring funds and those FMS cases that are funded via  US appropriated sources. SCMS allows data input and customization through its multiple reports showing information by appropriation and program which allows for intense information sharing among multiple program participants. Although initially conceived to support the war effort in Iraq, the utility of SCMS was recognized by additional communities within DSCA. SCMS has been expanded for use with all the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) programs, which proved to be of great benefit to  US decision makers when planning how to best build partner nation capacity.”[3]

Corporate Info Community–Provides information to U.S. Government personnel regarding metrics, Lean Six Sigma/Continuous Process Improvement, organizational charts, Security Cooperation Business Forum (SCBF) minutes, and Lessons Learned – Best Practices.

SCO / COCOM Community– Is authorized only for USG personnel and provides an information sharing (e.g. General Information, Lessons Learned & Best Practices, etc.) for the USG SCO and COCOM personnel.

Navy Community– Provides numerous capabilities (e.g. Case Execution Performance Tool – CEPT, Case Reviews, Information Warehouse, Supply Discrepancy Reports, etc.) pertaining to  US Navy managed cases. Case and line financial commitments, obligations, and expenditures details are also provided.

Help Community – The help desk was developed to provide all users of SCIP a common location and interface for submitting and reading SCIP help desk requests. Having the help desk embedded within SCIP provides users with more security and privacy and prevents unauthorized viewing of requests. There are also numerous online help guides (Help Desk User Guide, Case Information User Guide, SCIP Help Descriptions, Corporate Info User Guide, International Customer Token Access Guide, Logon Guide, SCIP Acronyms, SCIP Background, Token Administrators Guide,  US Government (USG)/SCO Token Access Guide, and the Partner Info User Guide) posted there to assist SCIP users with understanding how to fully use the numerous SCIP capabilities. Note: In addition to the guides and reference documents listed above, there are also other Community specific guides that are posted on SCIP that can be accessed via the Help links on the applicable community navigation menu.

Obtaining a SCIP Account

The online SCIP registration form for both  US and international users can be found by accessing the SCIP website (https://www.scportal.us/home/) and ‘clicking’ the “REGISTRATION INFO” link on that page. All USG SCO and GCC students that attend the DISAM Security Cooperation Management Overseas (SCM-O) course are registered for their individual SCIP accounts while in that class per the DSCA Policy Memo 11-58 (Policy Update Regarding Security Cooperation Information Portal (SCIP) Account Access for Security Cooperation Officers (SCOs))[4]. For all other SCIP account applicants, follow the instructions in the SCIP “REGISTRATION INFO” introduction to submit your form for processing by the SCIP Program Office / Defense Security Assistance Development Center (DSADC). An important note for international (i.e. non USG) SCIP applicants is that a pre-requisite to completing the registration form is be issued a secure SCIP token by their country’s Host Nation Token Administrator (HNTA). DSCA Policy Memorandums 03-11 (Enrollment Process for the SCIP)[5], and 05-17 (SCIP Electronic Token Issuance and Replacement Processes)[6] are the policy references for details regarding issuance and management of SCIP tokens. The SCIP International Customer Token Access Guide[7] (posted on the SCIP “REGISTRATION INFO” web page), provides further details on SCIP token operations and processes. Additional SCIP DSCA Policy Memorandums are posted on the DSCA web site. For additional SCIP assistance, users (and prospective users) can contact the SCIP Help Desk at SCIPHelp@dsadc.dsca.milor via phone at (717) 605-9200.

Accessing the Security Cooperation Information Portal (SCIP) Website

To access the SCIP system (once a user has obtained a SCIP account), type https://www.scportal.us/home/in the address line of your Internet browser and then click the “SCIP Logon” link on top of that page. Both Internet Explorer (IE) and Mozilla Firefox can be used to access SCIP although SCIP functionality appears to work best on IE. The browser advanced security settings and certificates need to be correct to get access. Contact the SCIP Help Desk (SCIPHelp@dsadc.dsca.mil) if you have SCIP log-on issues. If you are logging into SCIP with your USG Common Access Card (CAC) certificate (which is the usual means for USG DoD users to log-on to SCIP if the account has been CAC enabled), select your non-email certificate. Logging in to the SCIP system with a token (vice a USG DoD CAC, DoS Smart Card, or commercial PKI certificate) will be via the subsequent SCIP login screens requiring entry of the SCIP user’s UserID and passcode. To keep the SCIP account active, users need to periodically log-on. If you do not log in to SCIP for 45 days, you will receive an automatic e-mail, advising you to log in or risk the loss of SCIP account privileges. If you fail to log in for 60 days, your account will be suspended, requiring your USG supervisor or country HNTA to contact the SCIP Help desk to reactivate the account. If you fail to log in for 180 days, your account will be permanently deleted, requiring you to submit a complete new registration form to obtain another account.

SCIP Training

DISAM provides SCIP training (basic through advanced topics) in the majority of the DISAM offered classes. The DISAM SCIP classroom training (which includes in-residence and Mobile Education Teams—METs) has expanded by 125 percent in the last year due to the increasing importance of SCIP to the Security Cooperation users. Electronic copies of all the current DISAM SCIP presentations are posted on the SCIP Corporate Info Community and are accessible via the “Training…DISAM Presentations…SCIP” links to authorized USG users. The DISAM SCIP training maximizes the online demonstration (vice ‘screen shots’) of the system capabilities by the instructors and the ‘hands-on’ practical exercises by the students. There is additional SCIP information and training that can be accessed on the DISAM home page (http://www.disam.dsca.mil/) via the “SC Tools” link on that page. Those DISAM SCIP training resources (See figure 4 for reference) includes an overview presentation, a SCIP exercise handbook, DSCA SCIP Policy Letters, SCIP frequently asked questions (FAQs), and a link to access the SCIP system. The SCIP handbook is a familiarization tool and training guide for Security Cooperation Information Portal (SCIP) users to better understand the capabilities of the SCIP system. It is intended for both initial system instruction, and also to provide users with future reference handbook when utilizing the SCIP system. All the exercise questions (Process, Logistics, Financial, Miscellaneous Advanced) in that handbook are based on information provided in the DISAM class lessons, and can be completed even without a SCIP account using the training case examples in the handbook. A basic understanding of the Security Cooperation Foreign Military Sales (FMS) process, logistics, and finance subjects is needed to understand and interpret the materials, and complete the exercises in that handbook. Future DISAM SCIP training will include online training module ‘vignettes’ (e.g. how do I login…develop a real time metrics…develop an Ad Hoc report…track a requisition shipment, etc.) that students can access and complete via the DISAM web page.

About the Author

John O’Connor is an instructor at the Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management (DISAM—http://www.disam.dsca.mil/) where he has been teaching (Process, Finance, Logistics, Acquisition, Tech Transfer/Exports, Navy Seminars, SCIP, etc.) since 2010. He is the DISAM SCIP project lead responsible for developing, maintaining, and integrating SCIP lessons in the DISAM curriculum. Prior to working at DISAM, he was a US Navy Officer (Naval Aviation) for twenty-six years, and a systems and financial analyst in industry for four years. He has a master’s degree in Computer Systems, is certified by DSCA as Level III in International Affairs, has a Level II DoD certification in Program Management, is a DoD Acquisition Workforce member, and is a former Country Program Director (CPD) at Navy International Programs Office (http://www.nipo.navy.mil/). He can be contacted at John.OConnor@disam.dsca.mil.


Notes

[1] Security Cooperation Information Portal (SCIP) Background Document, DSCA Policy 11-08, February 10, 2011, http://www.dsca.mil/samm/PolicyMemos/2011/DSCA%2011-08.htm

[2] Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) Manual 5105.38-M (Security Assistance Management Manual – SAMM) Chapter 13 Section C13.6.3.2.3 (http://www.dsca.mil/samm/ESAMM/C13/13.htm#C13.6.3.2.3.)

[3] Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) Manual 5105.38-M (Security Assistance Management Manual – SAMM) Chapter 13 Section C13.6.3.2.2 (http://www.dsca.mil/samm/ESAMM/C13/13.htm#C13.6.3.2.2.)

[4] Policy Update Regarding Security Cooperation Information Portal (SCIP) Account Access for Security Cooperation Officers (SCOs), http://www.dsca.mil/samm/PolicyMemos/2011/DSCA%2011-58.htm

[5] Enrollment for the Security Cooperation Information Portal (SCIP) (DSCA 03-11), http://www.dsca.mil/samm/PolicyMemos/2003/DSCA%2003-11.htm

[6] Security Cooperation Information Portal (SCIP) Electronic Token Issuance and Replacement Processes (DSCA 05-17), http://www.dsca.mil/samm/PolicyMemos/2005/DSCA%2005-17.htm

[7] SCIP International Customer Token Access Guide (October 2012), https://www.scportal.us/home/docs/IntlCustAccessGuide.pdf