FCW Insider


5 keys to improving federal procurement

Guest post from FCW Editor-in-Chief John Monroe.

Rather than bringing more innovation to the acquisition process, the federal government would be better off just trying to get the basics right, according to one reader.

The reader, signed as KRL, was responding to a recent post by FCW blogger and columnist Steve Kelman, who was defending the use of procurement contests or challenges as a low-risk way to solicit new ideas.

KRL, a seasoned veteran of the federal acquisition business, is not against innovation, per se. It’s just that eventually the federal government will need to focus on dealing with more fundamental problems in the procurement process.

“In my 27 years, we have come full circle so many times from the concept of 'innovation' back to the basics in the FAR that I sometimes get dizzy,” KRL writes. “Is today an innovation day or a back-to-basics day?”

The reader outlines five such fundamentals:

1) Hire people who know what they are doing and provide continuous training.
2) Hire outstanding young people then have the ‘grey hairs’ train and mentor them well.
3) Emphasize the importance of well-planned projects.
4) Encourage well-executed projects.
5) Get the politicians out of federal procurement.

KRL is particularly insistent on that last point. “Politicians have no clue how the system works much less what is in the FAR, and their constant playing with funding of programs is the primary cause of wasted dollars as they abuse the system.”

What do you think?

Posted on Sep 02, 2011 at 7:26 PM3 comments


The longest 20 seconds of my life

Federal Computer Week's editorial offices are on the seventh floor of a building in Falls Church, Va. We were working on the regular mix of things on a quiet, ordinary Tuesday afternoon when the floors began to vibrate.

Most of us thought little of it in the first couple of seconds because there has been construction and furniture moving on the floor above us recently and rumbles and noises aren't unusual. But then it grew more intense, and furniture started to sway and some of us wondered: earthquake, or bomb?

When everything stopped shaking -- the longest 20 seconds of our lives -- we stood up as one and headed for the stairs, winding our way down seven flights and emerging in the front lobby. We still didn't know for certain what had happened, but people using smart phones were quick to begin reporting some information.

After about 15 minutes the building management let us return and try to get our minds back to work.

Where were you when the earthquake hit?

Posted on Aug 23, 2011 at 7:26 PM10 comments


Thursday Trivia: Famous namesakes

What famous figures gave their names to the months of July and August?

(Scroll down for answer)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar.

The Roman Senate named the month of July for Julius Caesar in honor of his reforming of the Roman calendar. Later, after Julius Caesar's grand-nephew Augustus became emperor of Rome, the Senate decided to bestow his name on the month in which he had won his battles with Marc Antony -- Sextillis, the sixth month of the Roman year, became August.

The Senate added a day to August so that Julius and Augustus Caesar would be honored with months of equal length. To accommodate that, they took a day from February, shortening it from 29 to 28 days.

Source:InfoPlease

Posted on Aug 17, 2011 at 7:26 PM1 comments


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