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Transformation FAQ

Question Answer

What exactly is changing under the 2016 NDAA?

  • The 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) provides DeCA the opportunity to make some specific changes to our operations that will protect your patron benefit, improve your overall shopping experience, and reduce DeCA's reliance on appropriated funding.
  • Starting in fiscal 2017, DeCA will be preparing to pilot some initiatives, such as variable pricing and private label, as changes to enhance its mission of offering the right products at the right prices to its patrons. Congress has directed DeCA to deliver the current level of the commissary benefit with a lower operating cost.
  • As a prerequisite to conducting any pilot, DeCA has been tasked with updating its patron savings methodology to better reflect the savings patrons currently experience at their local commissaries. This updated patron savings methodology will serve as a baseline against which we will measure the success of each pilot program we pursue.
  • Congress and the Department of Defense recognize the tremendous value the commissary provides for you and your families. They want DeCA to continue providing that value, but believe it can do even better if given the legislative flexibility and tools to serve patrons more effectively and operate more like a commercial grocer.


Question Answer

Is DeCA merging with the military exchanges? Myth!

No – this phase of work focuses exclusively on DeCA's operations. DeCA leadership continues to explore different levels of cooperation with the military exchanges. To the extent the Defense Department plans to implement any of those options in future, DeCA is committed to ensuring that employees are well-informed and equipped with information to understand any potential impacts.

Question Answer

Are we piloting privatization? Myth!

No – upcoming pilot programs will not be exploring potential privatization (i.e., a private sector company taking over DeCA operations). Privatization was not a part of the changes proposed in the 2016 NDAA and is not planned for DeCA at this time.

Question Answer

Does this effort change DeCA's overall mission? Myth!

No – DeCA's mission has always been to offer the right products at the right prices as a critical benefit to its patrons. This effort does not change DeCA's mission - however, it does offer more flexibility in how DeCA delivers that benefit, and positions the agency to be more cost-effective, efficient and better able to protect the benefit for future generations of patrons.

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Commissaries.com: The official online resource of the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) | 1300 E Ave., Fort Lee, VA 23801–1800