For agencies, only one measure of success really counts
The Interior Department wants industry to step up and offer advice on incentives for getting good systems administrative services.
The question being asked is how to get companies to do their best work in a tough budget climate. Interior cancelled a solicitation
for systems operations and administration for its National Business Center after getting complaints from potential bidders that the strategy wasn’t clear.
I have to give kudos to Interior for backing away from the solicitation. It’s a well-known problem that agencies too often issue a solicitation without being able to clearly articulate a strategy. At least Interior is smart enough, and brave enough, to take a second look.
A common complaint I hear from industry is that agencies can’t write good requirements because they don’t know what they need.
From that perspective, Interior’s move is a smart one.
But frankly, more talk isn’t the answer. We don’t need more talk.
The days of agencies struggling to figure out their requirements are over. In today's budget environment, there is only one requirement that agencies have – save money.
Agencies need to say: We need to save X percent over Y amount of time from this operations. Then let industry step up with an answer. Agencies need to forget everything else – forget about hourly rates, forget about profit margins, forget about contractor headcounts.
Let the contractor innovate and be held to the price he quotes. The agency gets the savings it needs, so it can't be worried if the contractor makes a windfall profit. Trust me, that’s not going to happen. But if does, remember that for the recompete because that’s more savings an agency can reap.
Agencies and contractors have one measure of success, one point to audit against.; one objective.
Is this an oversimplification? Sure, but we've plowed this ground so many times before, how much more talk do we need?
Posted by Nick Wakeman on Dec 07, 2011 at 7:23 PM