NASA's 'booth babe' spreads the SEWP

Thursday - 12/9/2010, 11:01am EST

Joanne Woytek, program manager, SEWP, NASA

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By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor
FederalNewsRadio.com

Hundreds of federal and industry contracting executives are converging in Arlington this morning for the Government Contract Management Conference hosted by the National Contract Management Association.

One prominent attendee is the program manager of the NASA SEWP contract, Joanne Woytek, who had some news of her own. She told Federal News Radio she's working on building a new conference starting in April.

Self-described NASA SEWP "booth babe" Joanne Woytek is interviewed by WFED's Tom Temin at NCMA's Government Contract Management Conference, Dec.9, 2010. (WFED photo)

"I don't think that there's a good, general IT acquisition conference anymore in DC," she told WFED anchor Tom Temin, "and I felt that it's time to get us all together. A lot of misinformation goes off. The best thing to fight that is get more information out there and I'm hoping that we can make this a good information exchange about all the different possibilities and ways people can do good acquisition in DC."

Woytek said she's planning an annual "federal IT acquisition conference. We're trying to bring together all the main players of the acquisition contracting world and it's going to be a one day conference."

Some of those players she said she hoped would include NCMA, "GSA, NIH, NASA, Interior and other big players in the acquisition world."

Asked about current trends or problems being faced by the contracting workforce, she said she didn't see anything really new. "I think the problems are what they always are," said Woytek. "You know: too much work and too few people. Always needing more and more support."

Woytek said new OMB mandates reforming IT are affecting the contract vehicles, but she welcomed the change.

For us, one of the big pushes that we're fully supportive of is pricing and transparency. In fact we, just this week, added a new feature to our website that when quotes are given back, we actually show the savings off the contract catalogue price because we get better savings but we actually never show it. So we decided to start showing that to our customers so they can better track how they're doing.

Woytek also welcomed the chance to attend the GCMC because, as she said, "for SEWP it's just another way to meet with the COs and make sure that we're meeting their needs."

SEWP's exposure at the conference includes a booth at the adjoining trade fair. "Yes, I am a booth babe," she said and laughed.

Woytek told Temin he could visit the booth for a pen. He said he'd hoped for a used workstation.

Click here for full coverage of the NCMA 2010 Conference.