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FCW does the party circuit

So FCWers were out at market research firm Input's holiday party last Thursday. The Input party is something like the unofficial kick-off of the holiday season for government IT folks. It is held at the McLean Hilton near Tyson's Corner – for those outside the area, it is where the region's largest shopping mall is and it is just a joy to maneuver around there during the holiday season. (It is bad all the time, but impossible during this time of year!)

Industry greatly outnumbered feds, which is typically the case. Perhaps the most VIP of the VIPs was Marty Wagner, who was just named to the big job over at the General Services Administration.

Overall, industry seemed a bit nervous this year. It has, after all, been an interesting year. There is the budget deficit cloud that hangs over the market and nobody is really sure what the red ink will mean for budgets next year. The 9/11 spending bubble seems to have wane; the Homeland Security Department still seems to be sputtering. Industry seems generally pleased about Wagner's appointment, but overall leadership at GSA is still up in the air… and then there is the general GSA reorganization. And while Robert Burton is doing an admirable job as the acting administrator, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy post still waits to be filled. Furthermore, the pace of change in company ownership has not slowed down – SAIC is about to go publicCSC is (or is not) up for bid… among others…

Yet with all of that, companies are still looking for their government divisions to bring home the bacon.

So my sense was that it is a somewhat nervous time among government vendors.

One tidbit of gossip that was making its way around the room -- a senior person said that DHS's Janet Hale is up for a senior OMB post. We couldn't get any more then that, but...

Several of us will be at the AFCEA Winter Gala at the Corcoran Gallery of Art Wednesday night and we'll see what the mood is like there.

Wednesday morning, I'm moderating a panel for Steve Kelman in the morning where he will be discussing his new book, "Unleashing Change: A Study of Organizational Renewal in Government." So it is going to be a long but interesting day.

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Dec 06, 2005 at 12:15 PM


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