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FCW Insider: Game of chickens


So a few weeks ago, I mentioned how the Coalition for Government Procurement was going to feature Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, who later... canceled. Then, last night came the notice that Brian Miller, GSA's inspector general, has agreed to speak to a coalition breakfast on Wednesday, March 26. Frankly, I was very impressed both that the Coalition had scored an impressive coup and that we would finally get to hear Miller address the issues which have both government and industry very concerned right now and which leave a lot ofuncertainty about the viability of GSA schedule contracts. What an opportunity for Miller to say what he and his team are looking for in, say, the post-award audits so both agencies and vendors can be sure to have that information available.

Unfortunately most of us will never really know because -- marked in little type near the bottom -- the notice [.pdf] says, "No press please."

I should note that I don't know whether the decision to prohibit the press from attending is a Coalition decision or a Miller requirement for speaking. I'm guessing it is the latter given that I don't recall a similar previous Coalition event being closed to the press, but I have asked the question and I will let you know what I hear.

Regardless, it's too bad. It is a real missed opportunity for Miller to talk about the role of oversight. When it comes down to it, what are we all afraid of? There are various views of what oversight should be. I don't have a problem with that. I do have a problem with the fact that we don't talk about it, debate it, come up with a consensus -- and then move on with the business at hand, which is enabling agencies to buy what they need at the best value and most efficient way.

To that end, I hereby deputize anybody who does attend to send me their impressions. I will post them here... anonymously, so as to protect the innocent.

Posted by Christopher J. Dorobek on Feb 22, 2008 at 12:17 PM


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