Troubled IT projects affecting contractors too

Thursday - 8/26/2010, 9:31am EDT

Trey Hodgkins, Vice President, National Security & Federal Procurement Policy, TechAmerica

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By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor
FederalNewsRadio.com

Federal News Radio has been telling you about the Office of Management and Budget's hit list of 26 late and over-budget IT projects.

The heavy lifting will fall to both federal CIO's and to the contracting community.

Trey Hodgkins, vice president for national security and federal procurement policy at TechAmerica told Federal News Radio the effort is expected to have a big impact on the community as a whole, but that tensions haven't increased.

I think everyone is ultimately trying to make sure that the end user, the taxpayer, is both getting good value from the investments as well as making sure that the tax dollars are spent wisely. No one is looking to do anything otherwise, so I think everyone's ready to cooperate and work on these in a joint fashion and find ways to be more timely, more efficiently delivered in the way of costs, and performing in the way they were intended in the beginning.

In addition to being reviewed by the OMB, Hodgkins said "we've recommended that they bring in the industry counterparts, the project managers from the contractors, and spell out the issues they're looking at, the concerns they have and get both perspectives and perhaps a great set of ideas from both parties on how to address some of these issues that are causing the concerns."

If there is good to come of this, Hodgkins said this is a chance for contractors to look at the situation and keep lines of communication open and understand where things are slipping. He said there are "a lot of good ideas out there in the vendor community about how to adjust some of these programs."

Perhaps we change the scope of the deliveries, perhaps we break it into pieces which is what we've heard Vivek Kundra talk about, there are a variety of options that can play into delivering these large systems. Most of them are very large systems and have broad impact. Trying to understand how we can do them better is certainly a fresh way of looking at it.