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4:39 am, July 31, 2014

Acquisition News

Contractor ethics rules too reactive, compliance focused, experts say

Improving acquisition compliance and ethics may involve less rulemaking and more culture shaping according to panelists at the National Contract Management Association's World Congress conference. At the conference, agency leaders discussed the need to streamline and pursue innovative approaches to federal acquisition policies.

Wednesday - 07/30/2014, 06:21pm EDT

Nick Nayak, Former Chief Procurement Officer, DHS

The Homeland Security Department's acquisition shop is in a far different place today than it was when Nick Nayak became the chief procurement officer in 2010. The acquisition team and Nick himself have won a number of recognitions for progress and excellence. Nick's last day at DHS was the first week of July. In this exit interview, Francis Rose asked him what he'd say to the contracting community about the future of acquisition on In Depth.

Wednesday - 07/30/2014, 05:05pm EDT
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Industry group calls on White House, not Congress, to lead acquisition reform efforts

The Professional Services Council is the latest group to weigh in after members of Congress sent out the call for contributions to next year's likely round of acquisition reforms. PSC's reply rests largely on the idea that the executive branch can fix most of the current problems on its own.

Wednesday - 07/30/2014, 05:16am EDT
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GSA cuts 1,000 noncompliant vendors from IT schedule

Kay Ely, GSA's director of IT schedule programs in the Federal Acquisition Service, said removing 1,000 vendors who weren't meeting the minimum annual sales requirement of $25,000 a year is saving the agency about $3.2 million a year in administrative costs. At the same time, GSA is adding 30-to-40 new vendors each month to Schedule 70 as part of its effort to make sure agency customers have access to new, innovative companies.

Wednesday - 07/30/2014, 04:48am EDT
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FAS's roles in professional services

Tiffany Hixson, the professional services category executive at GSA's Federal Acquisition Service discusses the new professional services category management agenda for FAS and what it means for customer agencies and contractors.
July 29, 2014

Tuesday - 07/29/2014, 10:16pm EDT
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Stan Soloway, President and CEO, Professional Services Council

A partially trained workforce working within a nearly impossible system is not a recipe for success. But that's how things are when it comes to federal acquisition, according to the Professional Services Council. The industry group has sent Congress a long list of recommendations to make procurement faster and more competitive. Council President Stan Soloway joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss how the study got started.

Tuesday - 07/29/2014, 10:14pm EDT
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An update on GSA's SmartPay program

Host Mark Amtower discusses the SmartPay program with David Shea, director, Office of Charge Card Management at the General Services Administration.
July 28, 2014

Monday - 07/28/2014, 07:31pm EDT
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Keith Trippie, Chief Executive Officer, The Trippie Group

Uncle Sam a venture capitalist? Imagine a board room with honchos from government, finance and Silicon Valley. A board of directors for the federal government, solving its toughest challenges with the latest concepts and cutting edge technology. Keith Trippie is CEO of the Trippie Group and a former Homeland Security executive. He says if the government follows a Silicon Valley venture capital model the taxpayer would win. He joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to explain why.

Monday - 07/28/2014, 12:45pm EDT
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Kenneth Gillilland, Attorney, ARDEC

If you want to wave a red flag to get contractors' hackles up, just say the words, "lowest-price, technically acceptable." It may not sound like best value, but in a world of tough budgets, that's the way agencies are going. How can the strategy work for both sides? Kenneth Gilliland, an attorney with the Army's Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center spoke to Tom Temin at the National Contract Management Association World Congress at National Harbor. View photos and listen to more interviews from the conference.

Monday - 07/28/2014, 09:19am EDT
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Jamie Sybert, Director, and David Kirschbaum, Principal, Baker Tilly

Contracts are like marriages. Everyone enters into them optimistically and with the best intentions. But, they don't always work out. Sometimes an agency has to terminate a contract. Termination requires care, though. Jamie Sybert is a director, and David Kirschbaum is a principal at the accounting and contracts advisory firm Baker Tilly. They spoke with Tom Temin at the National Contract Management Association World Congress. They've got advice for clean separations. View photos and listen to more interviews from the conference.

Monday - 07/28/2014, 08:38am EDT
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Erville Koehler, General Services Administration

It may seem crazy, but it's possible to get would-be federal contractors to bid against each other to drive prices down* That's the idea behind reverse auctions. All you need is the right platform. The General Services Administration operates the Government-Managed Reverse Auction Platform. Tom Temin spoke to Erville Koehler, a federal acquisition service regional 4 commissioner at GSA, at the National Contract Management Association World Congress at National Harbor. View photos and listen to more interviews from the conference.

Monday - 07/28/2014, 08:33am EDT
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Inside the Reporter's Notebook: Category management launches five pilots; more vendor past performance data

In this edition of Inside the Reporter's Notebook, Executive Editor Jason Miller shares news and buzz about the IT and acquisition communities.

Friday - 07/25/2014, 04:51pm EDT

Kristie Arslan, Executive Director, Women Impacting Public Policy

A new bill aims to give women-owned small businesses more opportunities to win federal contracts. The Women Small Business Procurement Parity Act would help agencies meet the goal of awarding 5 percent of all contracts to women-owned small businesses. Also, it would ensure that women get a fair shot at growing their businesses and create jobs. Kristie Arslan is executive director of Women Impacting Public Policy. She joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss the new bill.

Friday - 07/25/2014, 09:55am EDT
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Senators back OFPP nominee, lambast OMB over communication breakdowns

Anne Rung, President Obama's nominee to lead the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, detailed her three major priorities should the Senate confirm her. Lawmakers press Rung on improving communication between OMB and Congress, and how best to deal with the multi-sector workforce.

Friday - 07/25/2014, 04:04am EDT
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Jeff Neal, senior VP, ICF International

The Social Security Administration says its new $300 million IT system still doesn't work. SSA wants to replace outdated computer systems that contribute to its backlog of disability claims. The agency says outside consultants will try to get the project back on track, but it still has no idea when it will be ready to launch. Jeff Neal is senior VP of ICF International and former chief human capital officer at the Department of Homeland Security. He's tells Francis Rose on In Depth that it's not just IT projects, but all types of federal contracts that can be where good ideas go to die.

Thursday - 07/24/2014, 06:15pm EDT
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Putting a contract out on good ideas

An unresponsive, or sclerotic contracting system is not a good fit for our fast-paced information world, says Jeff Neal, former chief human capital officer at the Department of Homeland Security.

Thursday - 07/24/2014, 02:32pm EDT

Duncan Amos, Quantitative Analyst, Bloomberg Government

You've heard the expression, spend it or lose it. The approaching end of the fiscal year tends to stir federal agencies to use whatever acquisition money they have left. That causes a definite uptick in spending. Vendors don't want to miss out. They're already getting ready for what Bloomberg Government calls the end of year scramble. Quantitative Analyst Duncan Amos joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss when the activity picks up.

Thursday - 07/24/2014, 10:28am EDT
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DoJ steps in to false claims lawsuit against Symantec

The Justice Department joined the whistleblower lawsuit against Symantec Corporation on Tuesday. The department accuses the technology contractor of providing inaccurate prices to the General Services Administration, violating the False Claims Act.

Wednesday - 07/23/2014, 02:16pm EDT

DoD, DHS see more, earlier testing as a possible fix to troubled programs

The Defense and Homeland Security departments are pushing project managers to test technology or weapons systems earlier in the acquisition lifecycle to understand and solve potential roadblocks sooner. DoD submitted recommendations to Senate leaders for how to better integrate testing and evaluation into the acquisition lifecycle.

Wednesday - 07/23/2014, 08:48am EDT
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Jason Miller, Executive Editor, Federal News Radio

Testing and evaluating federal programs might be an old idea, but it's getting a new lease on life. Agencies are using testing and evaluation earlier in the process, and that's gaining support as a potential fix for longstanding problems. For instance, the Defense and Homeland Security departments are pushing project managers to test weapons and other new technology early in the acquisition lifecycle. Federal News Radio's Executive Editor Jason Miller joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss this emerging trend. Read Jason's related article.

Wednesday - 07/23/2014, 08:38am EDT
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