Former Office of Federal Procurement Policy Administrator Steve Kelman writes about a meeting he had with 80 GS-15s—supervisors and leaders—to discuss the state of federal contracting. Kelman notes that while participants from defense said they thought their organization does a good job when it comes to training and education, another raised a concern about a lack of training in negotiation. He writes that there’s also a general concern about pressure to speed things up, with the added pressure of more oversight. “Acquisition reform is broken,” said one participant. “We are not seeing streamlining.”
Nextgov reports that Reed Cordish, President Donald Trump’s assistant to the president for intragovernmental and technology initiatives, has said he supports 18F and the General Services Administration’s Technology Transformation Service (TTS), two initiatives started under President Barack Obama that have tried to change the way the government buys and develops technology. White House Chief Digital Officer Gerrit Lansing tweeted yesterday that Cordish told 18F and TTS “We have your back” at a recent town hall.
Writing at Governing, co-founder and CEO of Seneca Systems Chris Maddox says traditional public procurement practices, such as issuing requests for proposal (RFP), are holding back government and not allowing it to work with startups and new businesses. Maddox argues that many of the requirements of an RFP are outdated and not conducive to working with leading-edge technology companies, who are often hesitant to enter the government market. He advocates for a more simplified RFP approach to help governments of any size select more current technologies.