Competition brings out innovation
- By Dan Caterinicchia, Dan Caterinicchia
- May 03, 2000
Direct competition with companies for information technology projects is
the key to bringing out innovation, according to a leading federal procurement
Competition called for by the Office of Management and Budget's Circular
A-76 has proved to be an effective way to inspire government innovation
and save money, said Deidre Lee, the administrator of OMB's Office of Federal
Procurement Policy. Lee, who will become director of procurement for the
Defense Department in June, spoke at SAS Institute Inc.'s executive conference
Tuesday in Washington, D.C.
Lee said that government and the private sector win about half of the time
in A-76 situations, but the taxpayer saves about 20 percent all the time.
OMB Circular A-76 calls for agencies to prove that government workers can
accomplish the agency's mission more efficiently than a contractor.
"Government folks have the innovation in us; the competitive process just
brings it forward," Lee said.
Also on the procurement front, Lee said performance-based contracting for
federal IT procurements would not yield the desired outcomes if "results-oriented
requirements" were not built into the language of the contracts. Simply
automating systems and claiming to follow performance-based practices will
lead to wasted time and money if open lines of communication are not built
into the process.
"Automating systems where the information doesn't go where it is supposed
to and doesn't deliver on the mission [at hand], only allows you to buy
the wrong thing faster," Lee said, adding that "results-oriented requirements"
are the keys to a successful IT procurement.