Critical Read

Respect the FAR

FAR image GSA 

What: “Closing the Procurement Gap Survey Report," from the Association of Proposal Management Professionals, drawn from a compilation of survey results from more than 500 responses (350 from industry and 157 from government).

Why: With increasing talk in Washington of a potential overhaul of federal procurement rules, the report contends that the existing Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), the rules that control government procurement, aren't broken and do not need to be reconditioned, renovated or overhauled. The report concludes that what is broken is how the FAR is used and interpreted when it is applied to federal procurement.

Survey questions tracked the procurement process from the early stages through protests, and ran a parallel track for government and industry respondents. The report includes recommendations from both segments, and reveals fundamental differences between industry and government on acquisition policy and practice, although there was considerable agreement on "the need to reduce cycle time, costs, and to improve the draft RFP process."

Verbatim: "Stop protesting every deal. Identify issues, concerns, and worries, but stop protesting on a whim to get the Government to award to everybody on IDIQs, to drag out new contract starts to maintain revenue, or to attempt to thwart procurements. If you protest, make sure you have a good reason, and can defend that reason with certitude."

Read the full report here.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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