The two influential senators say the mistakes the Defense Department and others made in the 1990s during the last serious budget reductions can’t be repeated this time around. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) said budget cuts shouldn’t be balanced on the backs of the acquisition workforce. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) added reductions in acquisition staff mean the government will pay more for goods and services.
If terms like “cooperative purchasing” and/or “contract bundling” turn you on, welcome to the wonderful world of buying, federal style, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says. Check out day two of Federal News Radio’s multimedia special report, “Inside The World Biggest Buyer.”
Two former administrators of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, Al Burman and Steve Kelman, discuss how acquisition reforms and improvements often fall prey to partisanship. One of OFPP’s goals is not only to create acquisition policy, but systems that last beyond one administration. “You want to try to have continuity, as much as you can and keep better management of the procurement system out of partisan politics as much as you can,” Kelman said. “If it’s just an initiative — if it’s forgotten in six months — it’s never going to accomplish anything.”
Procurement chief Joe Jordan and SBA Administrator Karen Mills highlighted three long-time challenges in a new memo to senior agency officials. Agencies have until July 9 to detail steps they will take to address three areas.
A look at the increasing size of the acquisition workforce. Data is from the Federal Acquisition Institute.
OFPP Administrator Dan Gordon looks back on his tenure highlighting the successes of his office. Gordon will become the associate dean of contracts law at The George Washington University in January. He said improvements to the acquisition workforce and the implementation of strategic sourcing are among his accomplishments.
Progress has been made in better recruiting and training the acquisition workforce, but budget cuts could threaten years of progress, outgoing OFPP administrator Dan Gordon said at a House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee hearing on Wednesday.
The Defense Department said it intends to not just rebuild its acquisition workforce in numbers, but also make sure those employees have access to new tools that will give them the insight they need to make good decisions.
The contract management agency has added staff in recent years and sought a pivot in strategy, the GAO found. But DCMA still faces issues, such as contingency contracting and its reliance on DCAA, that impact its ability to meet its mission, GAO’s John Hutton said on In Depth with Francis Rose.
Jan Frye, the deputy assistant secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department’s Office of Acquisition and Logistics, joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Amy Morris live from the conference to discuss the big issues in contract management.