As the administration rolls out its final revisions to the Office of Management and Budget's Circular A-76, the warfare over competitive sourcing is certain to intensify.
Despite the overall market contraction expected for 2003, state and local spending on external technology services will grow significantly over the next three years.
Government and industry have a lot to learn about market research for federal performance-based acquisitions.
<FONT SIZE=2>In light of the state and local </FONT><FONT SIZE=1>government budget shortfalls, the focus on cost containment, enterprise management and revenue forecasting has increased significantly. Moreover, given the depth and speed of these deficits, many new administrations are reassessing the use and scope of the financial management processes in place.</FONT>
<FONT SIZE=2>The elections. The economy. The graying work force. Chief information officer resignations. All these are shaping technology strategies within the public sector and leading to one conclusion: State and local government organizations face a monumental challenge this year.</FONT>
<FONT SIZE=2>It only takes one day to change the nature of government. With the outcome of the elections Nov. 5, there is a new political reality at the federal level: One party now controls the executive office and both houses of Congress.</FONT>
With the midterm elections around the corner, state and local governments are preparing to facilitate voting. Over the past year, many major steps have taken shape: Voters have been registered, ballots have been printed, personnel have been allocated to precincts, etc. Given the election debacle of 2000, a number of state and local governments have turned to new technology solutions to help eliminate the problems of pregnant chads, lost ballots and vote counts that are off.</FONT>
<FONT SIZE=2>Although e-government remains one of the most prominent technology initiatives within the state and local government marketplace, the nature of its projects continues to evolve. Government-to-citizen applications are still politically popular, but government-to-business and government-to-government projects are also emerging as key e-government areas.</FONT>
The state and local government marketplace has been in a dramatic state of flux over the past year. With budget shortfalls forecast in 46 states and a lack of defined movement in homeland security funding, new technology opportunities have leveled off. In many respects, forced cutbacks have exacerbated the problem in specific jurisdictions and created an uneven balance of technology investment v. technology deployment.
State and local government organizations have long had a skeptical view of the need to outsource functions to vendors. Political realities, turf battles and cost constraints have made outsourcing a highly contentious issue.