2010 and Beyond: Challenging times for contractors

Thursday - 12/2/2010, 4:35pm EST

Rob Burton, former Deputy Administrator, Office of Federal Procurement Policy

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What have been the big stories this year and how will they impact 2011? This month the DorobekINSIDER looks at the biggest stories that shaped the federal government in 2010.

Rob Burton, former deputy administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy and currently an attorney at Venable Law Firm, joined the DorobekINSIDER to discuss how the events of 2010 will shape the procurement community next year.

With the political shifts after the midterm elections, Burton said he sees a switch in the Obama administration's focus from regulatory reform opposed to legislative reform. OFPP will play a greater role, he said.

The administration will also focus on insourcing work from the private sector to the government, Burton said. But, he said, he doesn't think government will be capable of handling the added workload.

"That's going to be very challenging....when you're already asked to do more with less," Burton said.

In the face of these challenges, the procurement workforce must do what it should be doing even in good times -- training workers and communicating closely with program managers in developing requirements, Burton said. Most litigation arises from poorly development requirements, he added.

However, overall, Burton said, "It's not a good time for a government contractor."

Burton said he predicts a theme of greater oversight.

In 2010, the Small Business Administration's suspension of GTSI signaled a shift toward the agency becoming "much more aggressive and taking on a leadership role, which probably isn't a bad thing," Burton said.

What do you think was the biggest story of 2010? Take our poll!

Click here to see all the stories in the '2010 and Beyond' series.