Shows & Panels
- Accelerate and Streamline for Better Customer Service
- Ask the CIO
- The Big Data Dilemma
- Carrying On with Continuity of Operations
- Client Virtualization Solutions
- Data Protection in a Virtual World
- Expert Voices
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal IT Challenge
- Federal Tech Talk
- Feds in the Cloud
- Health IT: A Policy Change Agent
- Improving Healthcare Outcomes through IT Policy
- IT Innovation in the New Era of Government
- Making Dollars And Sense Out of Data Center Consolidation
- Navigating the Private Cloud
- One Step to the Cloud, Two Steps Toward Innovation
- Path to FDCCI Compliance
- Take Command of Your Mobility Initiative
Shows & Panels
Inside the World's Biggest Buyer Part 3: Acquisition Oversight
Oversight of the complex acquisition process is continuous and exhaustive. The sheer size of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) gives insight into the wide-ranging scope of the effort to keep track of it, much less enforce its regulations, which are constantly being adapted, modified and added to by Congress and the White House, as well as agencies in their specific acquisition policies. Are there enough auditors to keep everyone honest? And what new regulations and laws are coming down the pike that could change the way you buy goods and services? Federal News Radio examines these issues in Part 3 of our special report, Inside the World's Biggest Buyer.
The two influential senators say the mistakes the Defense Department and others made in the 1990s during the last serious budget reductions can't be repeated this time around. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) said budget cuts shouldn't be balanced on the backs of the acquisition workforce. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) added reductions in acquisition staff mean the government will pay more for goods and services.
Rules and regulations are supposed to help the government make the smartest, fairest purchases are often complex. For Bill Woods, director of Acquisition and Sourcing Management Issues at the Government Accountability Office, federal procurement rules are a full-time pursuit.
Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said the acquisition workforce is most important to improving how the government buys goods and services. He said with 55 percent of the current workforce eligible to retire by 2018, agencies and Congress have to work together to figure out how best to train and equip these employees to be successful.
When the Defense Department began contingency contracting operations on a large-scale in Iraq in 2003 it was largely a trial by fire. Despite the best planning, DoD lacked the programs and practical solutions to handle the environment, officials say. Since then, commissions, panels and lawmakers have offered fixes and DoD has evolved to try to create "rock-solid" reforms. Federal News Radio examines these issues in the next part of our series, Inside the World's Biggest Buyer.
The State Department's share of overseas contingency contracting has grown over the last few years as the department took on new activities and functions as the military departed Iraq. Still, the budget shows, the Defense Department is the main player in overseas contingency contracting. And there's no guarantee Congress won't turn to the foreign affairs budget in its efforts to dramatically reduce the deficit.
You have to have a very good business case if you want to add the long list of contract vehicles. Jim Williams managed a few of those vehicles as commissioner of the General Services Administration's Federal Acquisition Service. He's now a senior vice president at Daon.
The timeline highlights the most important legislation that has impacted federal acquisition policy today.