12:44 pm, February 28, 2015

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  • Wild Idea: Go back to firm fixed price contracts and no retirement job offers
    Honest Broker
    I have been working in DOD acquisition for 25 years and I have seen the contracting culture transition from the Govt coming up with some rock solid design specifications with estimated time and cost followed by a negotiated firm fixed price and schedule to the current cost plus fixed fee and best effort approach. There is no motivation to get the job DONE or save on costs. Because many of my senior Govt supervisors see their retired colleagues pulling in 6 figures with the contractor, they plan to do the same through closed door meetings with the contractor of choice. At my office, upper management has made a full court press to outsource all technical work including design, cost and schedule estimation plus the program offices dictate the company of preference. They have made the procurement process so complicated and lengthy, it gives program offices the excuse to outsource procurements with a sizable fee tacked on. All employees that play the game right, then receive promotions. What an incestuous relationship mess it has become. Because politicians are driven by their prime contractor donors and then you have senior civil servants and military obtaining sweet retirement jobs, I do not see how any contracting culture changes will happen until the incentives go away.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Obama has never defended the federal workforce.
    obscurechemist
    And I have no expectation at all that he will ever do so. The only steps - THE ONLY STEPS IN ALL THESE YEARS- taken so far to deal with the federal budget problems have been to fleece the federal civil service. NOTHING else has been done. NOTHING. Just take away money, take away funding, and take away the necessary tools for our mission - that is Obama's idea of support and it is all we can ever expect from him. Obama is the best choice for President, but certainly not because he will ever be a strong supporter of us and our work.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • I think this guy is talking about statistics to see who is performing
    follyfrog
    I agree with Honest Broker and obscure chemist, and disagree with the guy who wrote the article (about deciding who gets funding based on performance measurements). Remember McNamara and Westmoreland. OK so they did their best sort of. But when McNamara was SecDef, everyone thought he was some kind of wunderkind and Westmoreland and based a lot on statistics to see if we were winning the war - body counts were a main goal. It didn't work out real well. They should have used another measurement. (However, at least their measurement made them look good in the short term). You can't measure things well enough to determine who is performing. There is no set in stone way to do that. If some group is producing a huge amount it might be because the products they are producing aren't up to standard. The real world doesn't work all that well with statistics unless you have a goal that better defines what you are trying to reach. The Japanese used statistics well when they were building their cars because they had a set of standards that car parts manufacturers were supposed to meet - so that the part had certain tolerances and was supposed to last so long. (I took a business class that talked about how some guy named Demming tried to sell his quality ideas to Detroit who wouldn't buy so took them to the Japanese- this is what happened). Just with Honest Broker and obscure chemist, I blame a lot of the problems with the Deficit and ramping up contractor spending on politicians trying to get elected and needing the subsidies from the contractors to fund their elections. If you read Mr Karo's books on Lyndon Baines Johnson, you'll see how that works. He was the first politician to spend huge amounts on elections - got a lot of his money under the table from Brown and Root, the same folks who do most of the construction in Iraq and Afghanistan. One time his folks had a brown paper sack of $50,000 (equal to about half a mil in todays dollars), and accidentally left it in the bathroom, but lucked out that it was still there when they came back.
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  • { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }