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FCW Insider: Overworked feds and acquisition reform

There's no getting away from it: The federal acquisition workforce is overworked and everybody's paying the price. That message comes through again and again whenever we do a story related to procurement problems.

The latest case is a report from the Defense Department's Inspector General on the Defense Department's use of contracts run by the National Institutes of Health. According to the report, both DOD and NIH procurement officials often take a short cut around the competitive process, leading to a high win rate for incumbents and perhaps less-than-desirable pricing for the buyer (you can read the article here).

Here is what one reader had to say:

These issues are a symptom of a greater disease, which illustrates just how difficult federal acquisition reform will be. Acquisition personnel are overworked, and under pressure to complete procurements. The path to least resistance is to 'lower risk' by continuing bias for incumbents as it is easier to continue doing business with firms you know, regardless of price or best value. Further complications arise because of improper oversight or contract administration by leadership who fall under the category of overworked. Any reform must first understand and focus on capabilities needed and human capital strategies to overcome these issues.

Posted by John Stein Monroe on Apr 13, 2009 at 12:14 PM


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