President-Elect Donald Trump shone a spotlight on procurement this morning when he tweeted, “Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!” The contract was actually to build two airplanes, and $2.9 billion was spent on research, with procurement coming in at $1 billion. The tweet sent waves through the defense acquisition community, with Boeing’s stock dipping slightly, and experts weighing in to clarify.
The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council has proposed a new rule that would provide additional guidance on the use of “partial set-asides, reserves, and set-asides of orders under multiple-award contracts (MACs).” The guidance is designed to help procurement professionals implement policy coming from the Jobs Act of 2010 and a 2013 Small Business Administration rule that allowed for partial set-asides and set-aside on task orders under MACs.
Following the announcement of new guidance encouraging industry-government communication, Federal News Radio looks at what’s behind the hesitation of government organizations to communicate with industry. “The proposed rule is a commentary of where we are in the ability for the government and industry to talk,” said Roger Waldron, the president of the Coalition for Government Procurement. “Even with OFPP issuing two memos and now this regulation, it’s not being done, and the fear of engaging with industry is still there. There is less incentive today to talk.” Curt Cote, of Censeo Consulting Group, said the new guidance is important because it’s targeted at acquisition professionals, not just leadership.
Working closely and effectively with suppliers is critical to public procurement success. In this one-hour webinar, Joseph Sandor, the Hoagland-Metzler Endowed Professor of Practice in Supply Management at the Eli Broad College of Business of Michigan State University, and Public Spend Forum’s Ash Bedi walk through some critical practices for realizing public procurement desired outcomes, and methods for leveraging supplier capabilities.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) sustained the protest of Vencore Services and Solutions, Inc., who argued that the Department of Homeland Security, United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that the agency conducted misleading discussions with regard to its costs, and that the agency’s evaluation of the awardee’s technical proposal was flawed. According to GAO, CBP “engaged in misleading discussions by relying on a significantly inflated estimate of the likely cost of performance to advise the protester that its labor rates were too low, the protester raised its rates in response, and the agency subsequently revised its flawed cost estimate but did not reopen discussions.”
The final report from the Commission to Modernize State Procurement—a panel created by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan—made 57 recommendations to update the state procurement system. Similarly, a regulatory reform committee identified 187 regulations that could be streamlined or eliminated. “Modernizing our procurement process is vital to running a transparent, accountable, and fiscally responsible state government,” said Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford. “Once implemented, these recommendations will benefit Maryland for years to come by increasing competition for contracts, lowering transaction costs, and improving the professional development of our state procurement workforce.”