November 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm #173424
As more and more experienced Government contracting professionals retire, the “greening” of the Government contracting workforce grows, with many contracting officers having less than 5 years of experience. The end result in some cases can be poorly a written Performance Work Statement P(WS), poor or no Quality Assurance Surveillance Plans (QASPs), etc. Has anyone seen any studies on this? Is there any data on the impact of poorly written requirements is having? Not only is the cost significant to the Government, but to the contractor community as well.
November 21, 2012 at 8:01 pm #173426
Steve – I believe you are working from a false assumption that the continued poor requirements development process is a direct function of “greener” 1102s. Granted that you will see continued poor performance as a direct result of this issue (see this article in the Washington Post), it would be difficult to make the one-for-one assumption that inexperienced 1102s are at fault.
The culprit is simply a war of attrition, as the top-quality KOs and CORs have been retiring or outnumbered by inexperienced personnel, combined with the large lot of KOs who can only be described as poor performers (i.e. KOs who do not understand the difference between FFP and T&M but are “senior” KOs in their organizations, CORs who threaten negative past performance because they incorrectly calculated labor costs that where off by a penny, KOs who threaten contract termination as the first step in discussions of perceived poor performance, etc).
Pick up any IG or GAO report, and you see the results of a poorly trained and qualified acquisition workforce across government. This is certainly a major driving force behind Better Buying Power v2.0 at DoD.
There is simply no magic bullet, but if one existed, it would be to improve industry and government communications and collaboration. With a combined and renewed focus on cooperation, industry could help shape better requirements, drive innovation, lower costs, and help educate the government in effective management and contracting.
Unfortunately, the “closed door” mentality is pervasive, and the MythBusters initiative has not had the desired effect of changing wrong-headed perceptions.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.