Government recognizes need to take politics out of procurement, expert says

Lawmakers want to find a balance between insourcing and outsourcing

Political concerns have become increasingly involved in the procurement process, but the government is realizing that its focus should be on the strategic needs of federal agencies, according to Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president of the Professional Services Council.

Chvotkin, speaking at a July 20 event hosted by the Association of Proposal Management Professionals, said Congress has seen the federal government’s “whipsaw between insourcing and outsourcing” and wants to move away from politics.

“It’s not a choice between the two sectors … but how do we maximize the value of both sectors,” he said.


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Chvotkin also discussed the demographic problem facing the federal government because more than four times as many federal employees are over the age of 50 as the number of employees under 30.

“It’s not surprising, but it’s disappointing nevertheless, [that] the federal government is not an employer of choice,” he said.

The age demographic is troubling to the PSC because older workers generally have a difficult time keeping up with the private sector’s rate of innovation and sometimes don’t grasp new technology as easily, Chvotkin said.

Because of a shortage of technically skilled personnel and the ongoing budget crunch, Chvotkin said he thinks it’s unlikely the government will have the opportunity to insource on a large scale in the next couple of years.

The government’s present fiscal situation, which spurred an employee pay freeze, might also prevent feds nearing retirement age from sticking around for too long, he said.

About the Author

Alyah Khan is a staff writer covering IT policy.

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