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Looking ahead in procurement can pay dividends for agencies

transferring funds

Where: Amazon Web Services Government, Education and Nonprofits Symposium, Washington, D.C.

Who: David Taylor, CEO at Capitol Solutions, a lobbying firm specializing in federal IT

Why: Tough budget climates in recent years have limited federal agencies' ability to spend on solutions for future programs, while also wreaking havoc on the federal IT contracting community's bottom lines. And IT acquisition itself has been in the spotlight because of large IT projects that failed to deliver promised results or missed their deadline.

According to Capitol Solutions' David Taylor, however, there is now an upside. 

The focus on HealthCare.gov, Veterans Affairs Department scheduling and other problem projects provide a real opportunity for technology and cloud providers to advocate for spend in these areas, he said.  Transitioning to cloud services is a mechanism for agencies to manage future costs, which can save money long term.

“Technology companies and cloud providers have a value proposition, and that’s going to become a more important part of the sales pitch for agencies and Congress when they approve appropriations moving forward,” Taylor said.

Moreover, Taylor said, the cost of maintaining current services has great potential for savings if agencies are now able to plan ahead more effectively. Non-defense agencies, he pointed out, spend $224 billion more than the budget caps allow for, while defense agencies are over by $103 billion -- though both numbers are starting to trend downward.

“Agencies haven’t had the flexibility to spend money on things, and do practical, smart management because they’ve been living in this uncertain budget world,” Taylor said.

About the Author

Colby Hochmuth is a former staff writer for FCW.

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Reader comments

Wed, Jun 25, 2014 David Taylor Washington, DC

Colby, Thanks for the article. I'd like to clarify a point made during my presentation. While spending caps are now rising, they fall short of the totals needed to maintain current services through FY19. For the Defense Department, that gap is $103 billion. For non-defesne agencies, the gap is $224 billion.

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