5 signs procurement is ready for a revolution

Conditions are ripe for contracting shops to significantly change the way they do business

After 30 years in government procurement, John Nyce has seen the pendulum swing several times.

What is in favor in one decade or one administration falls out of favor with the next.

Nyce is the associate director of the acquisition services directorate at the Interior Department’s National Business Center (NBC), an organization that helps agencies develop and award contracts.

“We are at a point where we can make some game changing decisions in acquisition,” Nyce said during a seminar Oct. 28 in Washington.

He laid out five factors that are creating an opportunity for significant change.

  • Shared-services organizations such as the NBC have been under a spotlight and must get better at serving their customers.
  • A younger workforce is joining government. They grew up with technology and expect to use technology to get their jobs done.
  • More sources of information are available for doing research such as market analysis. “We are not limited to single sources any longer,” he said.
  • The shortage of contract officers is making it imperative that agencies be more efficient with their acquisitions.
  • Communications is increasing among agency contracting shops, allowing for the cooperation on projects and the sharing of information. A good example, Nyce said, is the Better Buy Program recenlty launched by the General Services Administration to use collaborative technologies to improve the federal acquisition process.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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