David Savafian, administrator-select for Federal Procurement Policy, has committed to making the federal acquisition workforce a top priority. This is music to the ears of those of us who have been concerned about a diminished degree of top-level administration attention to this critical community.
Much of the buzz in the government acquisition community is about sections 803 and 815 of the Senate's version of the fiscal 2005 Defense Authorization Act. These sections would restrict the Defense Department's access to a wide range of nondefense multiple-award contracts.
It's been a busy time for competitive sourcing.
In technology, there is no such thing as perfection. Failures occur, even in the course of diligent, high-quality performance.
Teams of industry and government experts gather every day to address requirements and solve problems in the federal acquisition process. That process increasingly involves performance-based contracting approaches in which contractors make oral presentations for both market research and contract negotiation.
The tsunami known as offshoring, or worldwide sourcing, continues to roll. I suggested in this space two months ago that Congress tread cautiously before acting on this complex issue. But March 4, by a vote of 70-26, the Senate passed an amendment authored by Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) that prohibits performance overseas of work covered under a federal contract for goods or services, and of work covered under a state contract or grant that uses federal funds.
It is often said that good people don't need laws to tell them how to act responsibly, while bad people always look for ways around the law. While we can establish norms of conduct, we cannot legislate behavior.
The issue of "offshoring" ? moving work from the United States to lower-cost locations overseas ? is taking off. Presidential candidates are talking about it; Congress has taken small steps toward banning it on federal contracts; and analysts of all stripes have weighed in with their perspectives.
Several hundred companies crowded a recent Industry Day to discuss contracting opportunities for Iraq reconstruction.
In October, the Agriculture Department issued a report on its competitive sourcing program, from which one could infer that competition at DoA is, indeed, DOA.