Peter G. Tuttle
Jaime hits the nail on the head. Let me add a couple of additional thoughts to his articulation.
The “real” problem is not the regulations that form a framework for the Federal purchasing process, but how they are, or are not, interpreted and implemented by some of our Federal friends. There is plenty of flexibility allowed (look at FAR1.102-4 “Role of the Acquisition Team”) and then ask why many acquisition professionals do not appear to capitalize on this wide degree of authority. There are many valid (and some invalid) reasons for reluctance to be risk tolerant, innovative and forward-looking.
The one suggestion I have to help the procurement process is for Agency leadership (at all levels) to allow good business judgment to be exercised on the part of its Contracting professionals. This is much harder to do than to say, since it involves the concept of risk tolerance, trust, training on business acumen (rather than structure & compliance), and perhaps the release of decision-control to the levels which should actually have the authority to make those decisions in the first place.
At the recent ACT-IAC ELC, Steve VanRoekel/USA CIO, indicated in one address that monolithic failure cannot be the norm in government. Personally, I agree, as do we all. Creative business thinking and common-sense will be needed across the board to turn his words into reality.
All this being said, there are legions of our fellow Federal practitioners who daily practice the art of procurement successfully using the current legal and regulatory framework. They should be encouraged and congratulated. They could probably use some more enlightened leadership and mentoring to do an even better job of serving the public good.
Cheers and have a great day.