Editorial

The latest delay in awarding the Air Force's massive Desktop V contract drove home the fact that streamlined, fast-track procurements still have a long way to go.

Delays in large requirements purchases are not specific to the Air Force or the Desktop program. IWS/LAN, the Social Security Administration's $1.1 billion networked computer buy, also has been beset by scheduling problems.

Government purchasers have the most to lose. As award dates slip into the late spring, buyers will have less time to assess available products before orders are placed in the busy government buying season. Any protest will only exacerbate the problem.

Given recent developments, we have to ask if the heady days of large requirements contracts have come to an end. Other vehicles, including GSA's schedule program and various government- wide acquisition contracts, often provide agencies with less expensive, faster alternatives to major agency-specific buys. The Federal Aviation Administration recently canceled the follow-on to its office automation contract in favor of other governmentwide vehicles and its own, more modest procurements.

The Air Force should be congratulated for its pioneering role in streamlined procurement. But if the government expects large contracts like the Desktop buys to work, it needs to figure out a better way to keep programs on schedule and get technology into users' hands faster.

Featured

  • Contracting
    8 prototypes of the border walls as tweeted by CBP San Diego

    DHS contractors face protests – on the streets

    Tech companies are facing protests internally from workers and externally from activists about doing for government amid controversial policies like "zero tolerance" for illegal immigration.

  • Workforce
    By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

    At OPM, Weichert pushes direct hire, pay agent changes

    Margaret Weichert, now acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, is clearing agencies to make direct hires in IT, cyber and other tech fields and is changing pay for specialized occupations.

  • Cloud
    Shutterstock ID ID: 222190471 By wk1003mike

    IBM protests JEDI cloud deal

    As the deadline to submit bids on the Pentagon's $10 billion, 10-year warfighter cloud deal draws near, IBM announced a legal protest.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.