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Ah, I'm popular with POGO

Ah yes, I'm popular with the good folks over at POGO -- the Project for Government Oversight.

On POGO's blog, they took me to task for our editorial this week about the ethics craze under the oh so sweet headline, "Trade Rag Sucks Up to Readers." (Just a point of fact: Our readers are mostly feds, not industry. Perhaps the headline should more accurately read, "Trade rage sucks up to its advertisers." Um, that's a joke, OK! I guess an editor just can't get away from editing.)

And just a FYI... I will send Beth Daley, POGO's director of investigations who wrote this post, an e-mail inviting them to write a true op-ed piece on this subject.

Name calling aside, I want to again stress that ethics are very important, but what she sees as an "an extensive pattern of government employees cashing in on their public service" can just as easily be seen as long underpaid feds going to work for a market rate.

I used Jim Flyzik as a case in point because the NYT's allegations just were not accurate. The paper contended that he did business with Unysis. He just didn't. Does Flyzik know people? Sure. Do those connections ensure contracts? Does anybody really believe that? Really?

Our editorial this week is part two of this argument and asks if the real issue people are concerned about is really competitive sourcing and how much work is being done by industry. That is an adequate area for debate, but the NYT story still strikes me as unfair.

My sense is, and I don't often like to speak for others, but my sense is that POGO sees procurement reforms as dangerous -- people can do wrong. In general -- in general -- I have faith in people -- both feds and industry. And I believe in competition. Are there going to be wrongdoers? Absolutely. There always are. But in general, the procurement reforms from a decade ago have enabled the government to buy IT better, faster, and at a better price. It just seems worth the risk.

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Jul 07, 2006 at 12:15 PM


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