Aram Mazmanian of Censeo Consulting Group writes about the difficulties in tracking exactly what the federal government buys, particularly because of the somewhat inexact nature of Product Services Codes (PSCs). Mazmanian notes that PSCs are often out of date, don’t properly describe the item that’s purchased, and lack compatibility with systems outside of government. He argues that the White House’s category management initiative offers an opportunity to rethink the government’s use of PSCs, and offers several recommendations for how agencies can better use PSCs to collect more useful data.
Jason Miller of Federal News Radio reports on three acquisition changes taking effect in 2017. He highlights a provision of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that orders the Small Business Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs to come up with a common definition of service-disabled veteran-owned businesses. He also notes the final rule, reported recently in the Newswire, that requires contractors to notify the government if they’ve delayed payments to a subcontractor. And he picks out another final rule recently reported on here, requiring contractors to train employees on handling sensitive personal information.
The Department of Defense (DoD) has extended comments on a proposed an amendment to the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to ensure that when evaluating bid prices in competitive source selections, any substantial future independent research and development expenses that are used to reduce prices are evaluated uniformly. The comment period has been extended to February 2, 2017. The rule implements guidance from the Better Buying Power 3.0 initiative, but has been opposed by industry.
Kevin Ebi of the Smart Cities Council writes about the “three things you must do to be a procurement superstar.” The first is to focus on overall success, rather than on simply a successful purchase. Second, he recommends getting involved in programs early, and engaging stakeholders to help anticipate needs. And finally he suggests embracing “progressive procurement practices” such as integrating procurement technology and anlaytics.
According to analytics firm Govini, the defense contracting industry could see a shakeup with $210 billion in DoD contracts set to expire in 2017. While most of those contracts are tied to large programs, Govini projected $9 billion expiring contracts in information technology alone, with an average of seven bids per expiring contract in 2017.
President-Elect Donald Trump and Air Force Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan met to discuss the F-35 program. Trump had recently tweeted that the F-35 program was “out of control,” and Bogdan had publicly argued the program had come a long way to control costs. Trump also met with Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson and Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg to discuss program costs. “We’re just beginning, it’s a dance,” he said. “It’s a little bit of a dance. But we’re going to get the costs down [on the F-35] and we’re going to get it done beautifully,” he added.