The Foreign Procurement Group (FPG) is an organization of country representatives at foreign embassies in Washington D.C. who participate in Security Assistance through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. More specifically, the FPG is an international customer network, who purchases United States Defence articles and services via FMS. Comprised of a mix of uniformed and civilian logistics, procurement and defence cooperation officials, the FPG provides a customer focal point to the United States Department of Defence on FMS initiatives and business processes.
Founded in 1999 with 17 member nations, the FPG now has 45 members and is continuing to grow. Those member nations are:
Currently chaired by Rob Bayliss from the British Embassy, the FPG meets on a bi-monthly basis to discuss common FMS issues and policy. To date, a plethora of presentations and various white papers have been developed to provide input into FMS re-engineering and reform initiatives. In addition to this, the FPG has several sub-committees who take a more focused look at the details of the FMS process and report their findings back to the group.
The Origins and Charter of the Foreign Procurement Group
In November 1998, Mr. Rini M.J.Goos, a Dutch member of the MOU Attaché Group proposed the formation of an FMS expert group under the umbrella of the MOU Attaché Group. The main goal of this expert group was to enable FMS user nations to provide customer input and to participate actively and coordinated with DSCA's and Navy IPO's reinvention or reengineering efforts.
The FPG held its first meeting on February 12, 1999. Mr. Ken Perou, UK, became the first chairman of the FPG in March 1999. The present chairman is Dr. Jennifer Stewart at the Canadian Embassy. The original FPG Terms of Reference (Charter) were established and agreed upon in March of 1999 and were reviser in April 2002. Initially the FPG was comprised of representatives of 17 (MOU) nations. Since then also Austria, Israel, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, Brazil and Argentina have joined the FPG. The FPG meets at various embassies once a month except in July and August.
Any FMS customer nation that has FMS experienced person(s) in Washington can join the FPG. Nations that are interested to join the FPG are asked to submit a request to the chairman or the secretary of the group. The application is submitted to the FPG members for comment before the new representatives are welcomed to the group. Experience has shown that new member nations are enthusiastically welcomed.
The ICUG (International Customer User Group) is a parallel organization whose efforts are focused on requisitioning, maintenance and logistics improvements and is located at NAVICP in Philadelphia. See enclosed ICUG Terms of Reference. Two FPG members are delegated to interface with the ICUG.
The FPG and ICUG provide customer input to both, the CEMIS (Case Execution Management Information System) development team and the PUG (Portal User Group).
Currently, the MOU Attaché Group, the FPG and the ICUG are the only FMS customer groups that provide customer input to the U.S. FMS Reinvention and Reengineering Teams. DSCA and NAVICP have a standing invitation from the FPG and the ICUG respectively to have representatives actively participate in the group’s meetings.