As contractor and government teams prepare and evaluate proposals, we are reminded that federal agencies increasingly depend on contractors to fulfill their missions. But what can be done when the contract isn't going well, and the contractor and government teams find themselves in situations that aren't working?
Homeland security continues to be an important yet underdeveloped market opportunity. Since Sept. 11, 2001, first-responder organizations have been at the center of how the market would develop and mature.
Over the past 10 years, state and local government organizations have made significant investments in technology infrastructure.
The Department of Homeland Security recently awarded a six-year contract worth more than $100 million to Dell Inc. for a Microsoft software enterprise license. The deal will support approximately 144,000 personnel, and promises to produce significant savings for the agency.
Last year, Gartner Dataquest identified the problems and challenges that, taken together, are creating the "perfect storm" among state and local governments. These problems -- such as growing budget deficits, a graying work force, the decline of chief information officer leadership and a host of new expenditures such as homeland security -- are threatening to overwhelm state and local officials.
While more than 1,200 government employees recently attended Office of Management and Budget workshops on preparing business cases, less than 1 percent were from acquisition or procurement offices.
The first guiding principle of the Federal Acquisition System is to satisfy the customer in terms of cost, quality and timeliness of the delivered product or service -- a great principle, even if measuring the results is sometimes easier in concept than in execution.
Over the past 18 months, there has been growing sentiment among public-sector organizations to curb the use of information technology development by non-U.S. citizens or work performed overseas.
In recent years, the term due diligence has become part of the acquisition lexicon. Ideally, it describes the process and period during which competitors learn in detail about an agency's needs and practices before they propose solutions. It involves greater information sharing and more open communications by government agencies.
The financial turmoil affecting many state and local governments has created a Catch-22 situation for one particular agency segment: human services. Because they are heavily dependent on federal matching grants to help operational and technology development, human services departments in many respects are less-affected by revenue shortfalls.