A group who shares ideas and experiences employing innovative acquisition practices, collaborative methods and use of Web2.0 technologies to transform federal acquisition.
Interagency Contracting – a good thing?
March 1, 2010 at 11:40 pm #93722
Last week, Senate Homeland Security and Gov Affairs subcommittee held a hearing on Interagency Contracting. Topics such as the proliferation of contracts, the challenges we face in buying services, our inability to get real competition, some discussion on fee for service organizations, acquisition workforce, etc. were discussed. There will be more hearings.
Steven Schooner, the professor referenced in the earlier post also testified. Would love to hear your thoughts. Based on the testimony and statements, it doesn’t appear that we in government are making much progress. What do you think?
March 2, 2010 at 1:43 am #93728
True Story. I spoke with an OSBDU small business Director today by phone, and he was not up to speed on the Open Government Directive. Although this was a 18 year career member, OSBDU’s for those not familiar, stands for Office of Small Business Development Utilization office. These positions are typically held by Schedule C staffers, or better known as political appointee employees.
True Story-This OSBDU employee did not see the connection between the OGD and small business procurement. Mary, branding and marketing OGD is essential to Government’s future success. This conversation fully validated this need.
Outside of the quick assessment that the comments today was going to lead to more work then I cared to engage, I realized that consistent branding, marketing and educating will lead to what I think we all hope to be future:
More collaboration among agencies
Increase small business and minority business participation in contracting.
New acquisition tools
New transparency tools
Greater participation from business community.
And my prayer is that this can occur within the next 12 months or less.
Other than that, the lift may become heavier to pull off all of the wonderful intergovernmental, interagency contracting opportunities.
March 2, 2010 at 6:29 pm #93726
John van SantenParticipant
I interpreted the thread of the hearing discussion to be somewhat different than what I’m reading below.
March 2, 2010 at 6:44 pm #93724
Overall I think interagency contracting is a very good thing. But there needs to be better management/control over the proliferation of contracts. When an agency seeks GWAC designation or seeks to allow other agency to use it Multiple Award ID/IQ (as in case of ITES-2S), they should have to provide explanation of what this vehicle brings to the Government marketplace that doesn’t already exist. Maybe it’s the potential for a set of awardees with specific expertise in supercomputing or health/medical-related IT. Maybe it’s access to Homeland Security solutions that can be leveraged by Federal, state and local levels. And if approved, those explanations need to be prominently placed in the Ordering Guides/marketing materials/etc. Having lots of GWACs just to get more competition was one thing in the late 1990’s when most of the vehicles had a dozen or less primes but now when vehicles are being awarded to 40+ vendors, it’s a different story.
As far as fee for service organizations go, I’m part of one so am naturally biased. There are two potentially mutually exclusive things I’d like to see put on the table (1) make ALL contracting shops fee for service and give the dollars back to the organizations with the requirements and/or (2) provide appropriated funds for ALL contracting personnel. In the case of (1), you’d see a higher level of customer service across the board [meaning responsiveness, etc and not doing whatever the customer wants, regardless of what should be done]. The customers would then be required to decide if the service they are getting is worth the price they are paying. In the case of (2), shops that are providing additional support, such as requirements development, solicitation document development and post-award COR support would still have to charge for those services but the personnel and training costs for their 1102s would be covered.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.