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Acquisition 2.0 can breathe new life into battered workforce

More online engagement with the private sector could help federal acquisition workers develop better solicitations in less time, according to one reader at GovLoop.

The reader was responding to a debate topic posted as part of the FCW Challenge, a joint FCW-GovLoop project to spark debate about key topics in the federal IT community.

Our thesis, intentionally provocative, was that acquisition 2.0 was bound to give ethics officers the “heebies-jeebies.” Efforts to collaborate with industry online while developing solicitations were bound to create unnecessary conflicts of interests that could compromise procurements.

But GovLooper Gerald David says online collaboration could only improve things. Here is what he wrote:

The acquisition community is indeed overworked, understaffed and undergoing some loss of institutional knowledge. More active engagement with the private sector in the acquisition process - both contracting and program sides, particularly in the now very lengthy process leading up to final RFP would produce a dramatic improvement. I believe we'd see improvements in both the quality (more succinct requirements focused on the object) and timeliness of procurements. By engaging interested parties (dare I say crowd sourcing) once the objective is established, the process of "brainstorming" is enhanced by mixture of experience and ideas that I believe is simply not present inside and organization -- private or public. We end up with a much richer pool of information from which to define requirements, we've sped the process along AND the acquiring office retains complete control of the outcome. Why not?

What do you think? Check out the conversation here.

You can also read more about the FCW Challenge here.

Here are the other topics up for debate:

Government social networks are Towers of Babel, doomed to topple.

The Open-Government Plan is Vaporware 2.0.

A mandate for the cloud is wishing for pie in the sky.

The federal workplace will never change. Telework? Fuggedaboudit!

Cybersecurity: This is a job for McGruff the Crime Dog.

Posted on May 06, 2010 at 12:18 PM


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