Klossner: The bucks stop here

As I've written here on numerous occasions, I live in a small town. The size of the town, and our proximity to the town center, allow us and our children to have many unique pedestrian experiences. We walk to school. We have numerous, everyone-with-a-desire-and/or-a-bicycle-welcome, parades. Our little burg recently had its Halloween parade, where costumed children and partially-costumed parents meet at the town fire department and are given a police escort through the one block downtown, ending at the elementary school where the police department gives out bags of candy (which also serves as the official notice that town-wide trick 'r' treating has begun).



As far as I know, everyone here enjoys our stabs at Rockwellian living. Everyone, that is, except drivers. As we walked in our recent Halloween parade, I noted lines of traffic at each intersection we snaked through. When we walk to school in the morning and back in the afternoon, there are long, long lines at every entrance to town.


I don't have sympathy for those drivers slowed down at school times. Our town is not a main byway in the region, and anyone who drives through regularly should have figured out that at 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. every day during the school year traffic will be slowed in town.


But I do have sympathy for those folks who run into a Halloween parade without any warning. As we passed lines of cars the other night, I could almost see the clouds of frustration hovering over people who were minding their own business when -- wham! -- a parade appeared out of nowhere. (For the record, I am fond of parades appearing out of nowhere.)


I thought of these people as the traffic equivalent of contracting officers, with the GAO's recent move to allow protests of large task order awards serving as the parade. The officers didn't do anything wrong -- they were merely driving along on personal business when a parade in the form of an easier protest process appeared. In the past task orders were awarded without a lot of fuss, any problems being aired during the contract awarding process. However, as larger scale task orders have been handed out, the line between a contract and a task order has been blurred.


Of course, it might be argued that this added oversight will result in more clearly defined and written contracts, and improved communication between agencies and vendors. Nonetheless, this makes for a nervous group of contracting officials. Agencies might as well include protest applications in contract bid packets (do they already?). If I were a vendor, I know I'd have my protest ready in the event of a contract or task order loss.


The bottom line here is that this effort to improve the acquisition process will also slow it down. There was no mention of whether GAO now has the jurisdiction to expand the hours of the day to 36. Need a fast procurement? I hope you are creative.


And, if you know any contracting officers, I'd suggest the following:



  • Do not walk up behind them unannounced.

  • Avoid using any words that begin with "pro," e.g. professional, progressive, protect, protractor, prone, etc.

  • Excuse their new lunch habit of eating alone in their office closet.

  • Equally excuse their new habit of taking the back stairs or the service elevator.

  • Ditto their new habit of eating lunch alone on the back stairs or in the service elevator.

  • When talking to them, allow them the space against the wall; also allow them the booth facing away from the door in restaurants.

  • Don't act out of the ordinary when you talk with them while they are hiding behind their desk.

  •  


X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.