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Archive for April 2011

DorobekINSIDER: Pre-panel prep: Building a bridge between IT and acquisition

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Communication is difficult — any of us who have been married have learned this lesson the hard way — and we do it over and over again. And in organizations, it can be intensely difficult.I get to moderate a panel next week that looks at the issue of communication between agency IT and acquisition organizations. And improving that relationship cover four of Federal CIO Vivek Kundra’s 25 point IT management reform plan (PDF):
Align the Acquisition Process with the Technology Cycle
13. Design and develop a cadre of specialized IT acquisition professionals
14. Identify IT acquisition best practices and adopt government-wide
15. Issue contracting guidance and templates to support modular development
16. Reduce barriers to entry for small innovative technology companies
On Tuesday, April 26, I get to moderate a fantastic panel of luminaries to talk about the issues and challenges of bringing IT and acquisition. (More information about the 1105 Government Information Group’s Federal IT Acquisition Summit here.)

The panel:

  • Linda Cureton, Chief Information Officer, NASA Headquarters
  • Simon Szykman, Chief Information Officer, Department of Commerce
  • David Wennergren, Assistant Deputy Chief Management Officer, Department of Defense
  • Roger Baker, Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology, Department of Veteran Affairs
Read our discussion points… and add your thoughts… after the break…
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Written by cdorobek

April 21, 2011 at 5:39 PM

DorobekINSIDER: Shutdown – will is happen, and are you prepared?

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Today is the day — potential shutdown day.

While there are reports that progress has been made in budget discussions, midnight is the deadline. (National Journal has a great blow-by-blow about how we actually got to this place… after six continuing resolutions.)

National Journal’s insiders are saying that there will be a government shutdown… and the Gallup poll suggests the public wants a compromise, while the Pew survey shows sharp division among the public about who is to blame for this mess…

But what about the DorobekINSIDERs? We are asking you –

 

 

and…

 

 

Some resources:

OPM has an entire shutdown page – including a FAQ – and OPM’s contingency plan.

GovLoop has a list of 10 pre-potential showdown to-do items… and one might be investing in you.

Written by cdorobek

April 8, 2011 at 8:40 AM

DorobekINSIDER: Two must read shutdown docs

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It’s looking increasingly likely that the government will shutdown — at least for a period of time.

Today, the Office of Management and Budget posted a memo: Planning for Agency Operations During A Lapse in Government Funding. [PDF]

It says that feds will have four hours to do what they need to do before the government fully closes.

Read the full memo below:

View this document on Scribd

The other is a fascinating report out earlier this week from the Congressional Research Service: Shutdown of the Federal Government: Causes, Processes, and Effects [PDF]

Among the impact of a shutdown, according to CRS:

* Health. New patients were not accepted into clinical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) clinical center; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ceased disease surveillance; hotline calls to NIH concerning diseases were not answered; and toxic waste clean-up work at 609 sites reportedly stopped and resulted in 2,400 Superfund workers being sent home.

• Law Enforcement and Public Safety. Delays occurred in the processing of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives applications by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; work on more than 3,500 bankruptcy cases reportedly was suspended; cancellation of the recruitment and testing of federal lawenforcement officials reportedly occurred, including the hiring of 400 border patrol agents; and delinquent child-support cases were delayed.

• Parks, Museums, and Monuments. Closure of 368 National Park Service sites (loss of 7 million visitors) reportedly occurred, with loss of tourism revenues to local communities; and closure of national museums and monuments (reportedly with an estimated loss of 2 million visitors) occurred.

• Visas and Passports. Approximately 20,000-30,000 applications by foreigners for visas reportedly went unprocessed each day; 200,000 U.S. applications for passports reportedly went unprocessed; and U.S. tourist industries and airlines reportedly sustained millions of dollars in losses.

• American Veterans. Multiple services were curtailed, ranging from health and welfare to finance and travel.

• Federal Contractors. Of $18 billion in Washington, DC, area contracts, $3.7 billion (over 20%) reportedly were affected adversely by the funding lapse; the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was unable to issue a new standard for lights and lamps that was scheduled to be effective January 1, 1996, possibly resulting in delayed product delivery and lost sales; and employees of federal contractors reportedly were furloughed without pay.

Another CRS report: Government Shutdown: Operations of the Department of Defense During a Lapse in Appropriations. [PDF]

Interesting reads as we face Friday’s deadline.

[HT to the Federation of American Scientists, which regularly makes CRS reports public.]

Written by cdorobek

April 7, 2011 at 6:11 PM

DorobekINSIDER: AFCEA Bethesda scores $675K for the Children’s Inn at NIH

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One of the best events of the year is hosted by AFCEA’s Bethesda, MD chapter — it is the annual gala for The Children’s Inn at NIH, a simply remarkable place where sick children undergoing research at the National Institutes of Health can find a respite at a “place like home.”

The Children's Inn at NIH

The Children's Inn at NIH

AFCEA Bethesda has been a long-time supporter of The Children’s Inn at NIH. And the AFCEA Bethesda team managed to break yet another record for the 13th year of the gala, collecting more than $675,000 — at least as of initial estimates. The tallying was still going on, but… No small feat given the current environment.

I have been to the event for many of the past 13 years — and blogging about it in recent years… 200820092010… For 2011, I was honored to be asked to be a part of the presenting team — they asked me to help goose the silent auctions. (By ‘goosing,’ I can only assume they mean ‘come home with as many items as possible!” On that account — mission accomplished!)

A special thanks to Teresa Bozzelli of Sapient Government Services, who invited me to participate.

Hear Bozzelli and Linda Berdine, the chairwoman of The Children’s Inn at NIH Board, talk about it on The DorobekINSIDER.


AFCEA Bethesda has been a long-time supporter of the Children’s Inn at NIH. For those of you who don’t know about it, the Children’s Inn is similar to the Ronald MacDonald houses — they are a place where families can stay near the hospital and have as normal of a life as is possible. The big difference: The Children’s Inn provides that home to those families at no cost. Remarkable. (And yes — you can contribute… $139 buys a night for a family at the Children’s Inn.)

Donna Appell at 2011 AFCEA Bethesda Gala for The Children's Inn

Donna Appell

See a slide show of photos from the event.

See more photos after the break.

One of the most amazing parts of the Children’s Inn Gala is that the audience gets to hear from the children themselves. This year, we got to meet Ashley Appell, 24, and her boyfriend Mervin Hernandez, 24 — who actually performed at the event… she sang and he played the saxophone. Both suffer from Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome, a genetic metabolic disorder which causes albinism, visual impairment, and a platelet dysfunction with prolonged bleeding. Ashley’s mother, Donna, told the audience that they started singing and playing the sax as part of their therapy — to help with their lung capacity. And there therapy has turned into a joy and passion.

Ashley Appell, 24, and Mervin Hernandez, 24
Ashley Appell, 24, and Mervin Hernandez, 24

And it was thrilling that Ashley’s mother got to speak because I cannot imagine the torture of watching a child in pain. But the remarkable thing is the Children’s Inn also becomes a place for real information sharing. Donna told me that the Children’s Inn, in addition to providing a home, has also provided her with a network of people who have been there and done it.

Some photos from the event…

The DorobekINSIDER gooses the silent auction

The DorobekINSIDER gooses the silent auction (Photo: GTSI's Leslie Barry http://on.fb.me/fRQme5

$676,614

AFCEA Bethesda raises more than $676,000 for The Children's Inn at NIH

Bozzelli and Berdine at the AFCEA Bethesda Children's Inn Gala

Bozzelli and Berdine at the AFCEA Bethesda Children's Inn Gala

More photos… a slide show… and Children’s Inn at NIH – by the numbers… after the break…
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Written by cdorobek

April 6, 2011 at 5:39 AM

Posted in Circuit, community, Events

DorobekINSIDER: Fired VA employee Martinez reinstated by MSPB

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Adair Martinez, who was fired by the Department of Veterans Affairs following a series of scathing inspector general reports alleging sex and lies, has been reinstated by the Merit Systems Protection Board. 

Former VA IT employee Adair Martinez

The initial decision by Judge Lynne Yovino of the Merit Systems Protection Board, handed down Friday, says that Martinez was not given due process — essentially that her Fifth Amendment rights were violated.

The judge determined VA CIO Roger Baker violated Martinez’s Constitutional rights when he pre-judged charges of misconduct made against her by the VA Office of Inspector General, said Kevin Gary Owen, the attorney for Martinez. The Department of Veterans Affairs was ordered to reinstate Martinez to her job as Deputy Assistant Secretary and pay her lost wages and attorneys fees.

The series of IG reports alleged that Martinez, a former high-ranking information technology officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs, gave preferential treatment to certain contractors and engaged in nepotism in hiring. The IG reports allege that Martinez took advantage of a relationship with a supervisor for personal gain.

The decision says that VA CIO Roger Baker did not give Martinez a fair opportunity to defend herself. Quoting the U.S. Supreme Court, the ruling said, the “core of due process is the right to notice and a meaningful opportunity to be heard,” and that the VA did not give Martinez that opportunity.

“In my view, because Baker’s testimony was tainted by his prior review of the evidence and concurrence in the violations, his later claim that he nonetheless provided the appellant with a meaningful opportunity to reply is unavailing.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs must decide whether it will appeal by May 6. 

Read the full ruling — and find links to the VA Office of Inspector General reports — after the break.

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Written by cdorobek

April 5, 2011 at 2:26 PM

DorobekINSIDER: Deltek buys FedSources – launches clash of the Titans

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Get ready for clash of the Titans — the government market research edition.

Deltek, which bought market research firm Input earlier this year for $60 million, today announced that it bought long-time competitor, FedSources and it’s parent, the Washington Management Group.

According to the announcement, Deltek will acquired Washington Management Group, and its FedSources and FedSources Consulting businesses for $26 million in an all cash transaction.

WMG and FedSources have been rumored to be for sale for some time.

The big question: Why?

As Washington Technology noted after the Input buy:

The company’s goal is to meld Input’s contract data and market analysis with Deltek’s software, such as its customer relationship management offerings and its GovWin network for teaming and managing subcontractors.

Here is what the company is saying:

* Creating the industry’s broadest and deepest repository of government opportunity intelligence information.  For over 25 years, FedSources has delivered government contract research, agency spending analysis, and targeted opportunity information in key areas such as national security, information technology, and architecture and engineering to clients interested in winning Federal business.  By combining the rich opportunity intelligence from FedSources with the unique content, community and opportunity database from INPUT and GovWin, Deltek now delivers an unrivaled repository of government opportunities that represents over $500 billion in annual market value.

* Leveraging FedSources Consulting to deliver actionable, custom market analysis that better positions contractors to capture opportunities and grow their organizations.  Deltek’s research and consulting experts develop plans that position contractors to grow organically or through acquisition.  Our custom consulting engagements deliver pipeline development plans, opportunity-specific capture plans, and recommend acquisition candidates that align with contractors’ growth strategies.

* Offering comprehensive government schedule consulting to help companies find and keep profitable government contracts through The Washington Management Group.  Deltek drives growth for companies interested in capturing Federal business by developing strategies that will enable them to profitably enter the government market.  As part of these engagements, we work closely with companies to obtain and maintain both GSA and VA Schedule contracts.  Our engagements maximize revenue opportunities and minimize risk by ensuring compliance policies and programs are in place to enhance contract conformance.  In this way, we make it easier for companies to do business with the government and easier for the government to do business with key contractors.

It is certainly an interesting play — $65 million in market research. And this clearly pits Deltek squarely against the rapidly growing Bloomberg Government, which bought market research firm Eagle Eye about a year ago. BGov has been on a hiring spree building a formitable team of reporters and analysts. BGov has hired Allan Holmes, the former editor of NextGov and Federal Computer Week, to lead its technology coverage; David Rapp, another former FCW editor, and most recently, Bloomberg hired Anne Laurent, the widely respected former executive editor of Government Executive, BGov’s team covering government contracts and the companies that do business with federal agencies.

BGov insiders say that the goal is to build teams that focus on topic areas — and they will provide comprehensive reporting and analysis of those areas.

An interesting clash of the Titans.

Mark Amtower, the government marketing guru, told me that this brings together the contracting information and the consulting business in an effective way — and makes Deltek a very powerful player.

One of the more interesting questions: What happens with Coalition for Government Procurement. The Coalition has already been going through some changes. Long time executive director Larry Allen recently left to form his own consulting firm, and the Coalition is not mentioned in any of the releases.

After the break, read Deltek’s FAQ on the FedSources/WMG purchase.
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Written by cdorobek

April 1, 2011 at 8:32 AM

Posted in Circuit, Contracting

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