Sometimes misperceptions hurt
The old line, "I'm from the government; I'm here to help," might be undergoing a re-write to "I'm a government contractor; I'm here to help."
A new survey by the marketing firm O'Keeffe & Co. for its client Primavera Systems, shows that the general public has a low opinion of government contractors.
According to a survey of 677 people, 92 percent said they don't think the government gets best value from its contractors. They didn't ask about used car salesmen, but it is hard to imagine that they would score worse.
Respondents also gave poor grades to government managers. The entire report can be found here
on Primavera's Web site.
An argument could probably be made that the people taking the survey don't understand the workings of government, but I think that is part of the point. The survey respondents said they want more visibility in how the government hires contractors (59 percent); federal managers should provide clear and consistent goals and milestones to contractors (51 percent); and contractors should clearly report on the progress of programs (58 percent).
Sixty percent said contractors should be held accountable and 53 percent said they should be penalized when programs don't deliver.
The message is clear that the public wants to know how and why the government operates the way it does.
Primavera and O'Keeffe also surveyed government managers ? 80 percent said their management systems meet or exceed basic requirements. But in the general public survey, 89 percent received a grade of C or lower for management efficiency.
There is a discontent going on here. I don't think contractors and government managers are as bad as the general public thinks. I also don't think the managers are as good as they think.
The truth is somewhere in the middle.
Posted by Nick Wakeman on Nov 07, 2007 at 9:54 AM