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Department of Labor Sues Oracle

The Department of Labor has sued Oracle over what it calls discriminatory pay and hiring practices. According to TechCrunch, the suit alleges Oracle has a “systemic practice” of paying white men more than women, African-American and Asian workers in similar roles. If Oracle is found guilty, it would be prohibited from winning federal contracts, though Oracle announced in September that it would not sell through General Services Administration vehicles anymore. Oracle denied the charges, and claimed they were politically motivated.

Soloway: Time for Government to Go Commercial

Writing at Washington Technology, former Professional Services Council president Stan Soloway argues that the government should “flip the table” when it comes to acquisition, and make commercial purchases the norm, and only buy custom solutions for specific government- or defense-specific needs. “This would include not only strengthening Part 12 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation, but also flipping the table on other government-unique requirements that were borne of, and relevant to, a very different era,” Soloway notes, taking aim at government-specific cost accounting practices that differ from the generally accepted standards used in the private sector.

DoD Publishes Guide to Flexible Procurement Tool

The Department of Defense (DoD) has released a guide for using the “Other Transaction Authority” (OTA) approach to acquisition, specifically for prototype projects. The memo calls it a “tremendously flexible acquisition tool,” to help spur innovation. DoD’s Defense Innovation Unit Experimental has used the OTA approach, as has the Department of Homeland Security’s Silicon Valley office.

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