Shows & Panels
Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- American Readiness: Renewable Power and Efficiency Technologies
- Ask the CIO
- Building the Hybrid Cloud
- Connected Government: How to Build and Procure Network Services for the Future
- Continuing Diagnostics and Mitigation: Discussion of Progress and Next Steps
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal News Radio's National Cyber Security Awareness Month Special Panel Discussion
- Federal Tech Talk
- The Future of Government Data Centers
- The Future of IT: How CIOs Can Enable the Service-Oriented Enterprise
- Government Perspectives on Mobility and the Cloud
- The Intersection: Where Technology Meets Transformation
- Maximizing ROI Through Data Center Consolidation
- Mitigating Insider Threats in Virtual & Cloud Environments
- Modern Mission Critical Series
- The New Generation of Database
- Reimagining the Next Generation of Government
- Targeting Advanced Threats: Proven Methods from Detection through Remediation
- Transformative Technology: Desktop Virtualization in Government
- The Truth About IT Opex and Software Defined Networking
- Air Traffic Management Transformation Report
- Cloud First Report
- General Dynamics IT Enterprise Center
- Gov Cloud Minute
- Government in Technology Series
- Homeland Security Cybersecurity Market Report
- National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
- Technology Insights
- The Cyber Security Report
- The Next Generation Cyber Security Experts
Shows & Panels
OMB plans to bust IT contracting myths
Friday - 12/10/2010, 7:33pm EST
By Jared Serbu
Federal News Radio
Federal IT acquisition workers can expect new training in 2011 - some of it mandatory -- on exactly what they can and can't talk about with prospective vendors.
The impetus for the new guidance is what the Office and Management and Budget officials sees as too little communication between agencies and IT contractors in the phase before agencies submit a formal request for proposals.
"There are a number of myths that have been propagated over the years, where people believe you can't talk to the industry, or people believe that when you're down-selecting you can't sit down with the vendors and try to negotiate the optimal contract," Kundra said at a briefing in Washington, D.C., about the administration's 25-point reform strategy. "People believe all sorts of things that actually lead to RFPs that seem like they were written in the 1980s because people haven't had conversations with the industry over the years."
Bob Dix, a former senior congressional staff member now with Juniper Networks, said the problem is not a figment of OMB's imagination.
"What I've seen on a firsthand basis is a total reticence for fear of what the ramifications might be," he said. "So I think that's real, and I think it's regular, and I think it's something that really needs to be addressed in a meaningful way, because we're not learning from one another. As a result of that, people go back to what they know as opposed to looking for best value, looking for innovation, looking for ways to achieve the mission on behalf of the taxpayer."
One IT industry representative in attendance at OMB's rollout of the plan assigned blame for the closed communication channels to agency ethics officials and inspectors general.
"It's their mission to scare people into not communicating," said Paul Brubaker, a senior director for Cisco Systems, asking Kundra at the briefing whether OMB had a plan to overcome that hurdle. "We need to work with the Office of Government Ethics, we need to work with the attorneys and we can meet with the IGs as well if need be," said Dan Gordon, administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. "We have got to have our people be comfortable with using authorities they already have to listen to industry without giving anybody an unfair advantage. We can do this."
OMB plans to issue a memo in January identifying what it believes are the most pervasive myths about talking to vendors during the acquisition process, according to a document outlining the reform program. That process will include consultations with industry figures, agency program managers and contracting officials, and their ethics staffs.
OMB will spend much of 2011 presenting the awareness campaign to agencies, using webinars, presentations at government management conferences and a mandatory online training program.
(Copyright 2010 by FederalNewsRadio.com. All Rights Reserved.)