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A question of word choice

Responding to the story, "Cavalry not coming for the acquisition workforce" – part of our Outlook 2013 feature package -- an anonymous commenter wrote: I disagree with Ms. [Lisa] Mascolo's comment that, 'Much of the expertise those retirees take away is obsolete anyway.' In the 1102 Contracting job series, our expertise is not allowed to become obsolete. We are required to continually update our knowledge and skills. And in this ever-changing environment, that is quite a task.

Camille Tuutti responds: "Obsolete" was not necessarily the best word in this case -- "irrelevant" would have been closer to conveying what Mascolo meant. I also reached out to her to get further clarification. Her response: "For those folks who have been there for an extended period of time, what the government really needs to do is mine those skills and knowledge and figure out a way to transfer that to the younger generation of procurement officers. The skills that they have aren't necessarily as relevant as today as they used to be, but certainly [they're not] obsolete. My point is that in some of these newer technologies, there's a real need -- and most procurement officers would agree-- for ongoing training for contracting and procurement officers."

Posted by Camille Tuutti on Feb 08, 2013 at 12:10 PM

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

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