Critical Read

A contracting how-to for agency leaders

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WHAT:  "A Guide for Agency Leaders on Federal Acquisition: Major Challenges Facing Government," by IBM Center for the Business of Government, released Sept. 3.

WHY:  The federal government acquired $517 billion worth of products through contracts in 2012. The report answers eight key questions about federal procurement and designates three distinct acquisition challenges facing leaders: navigating the regulatory and oversight landscape, mitigating acquisition risks through contract design and improving the acquisition workforce. 

VERBATIM: "Much of what an agency executive does to achieve agency missions and implement agency programs involves the acquisition of goods and services. Many leaders outside the federal procurement system see it as a mysterious black box, the rules of which are explained by procurement staff and attorneys. But the effective delivery of government programs often rises and falls on whether a contractor understands the goals of the program for which they are providing goods and services, and performs effectively based on a procurement process that translates goals into requirements, resource expectations, and metrics."

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About the Author

Reid Davenport is an FCW editorial fellow. Connect with him on Twitter: @ReidDavenport.

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