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Archive for the ‘procurement’ Category

05.08.2012 DorobekINSIDER: What the sale of GTSI means for IT contracting; Why video makes changes telework; and A Virtual Tour of the Newseum

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On Today’s Show for Tuesday May 8th, 2012

  • GTSI — the company has been a staple of government IT contracting… and it has now been bought. Insights and analysis about what happened and what it means from Nick Wakeman of Washington Technology.
  • Could video be the key to telework success? Maybe yes. Find out why.
  • The technology behind the Newseum’s new Media Gallery…could be used for government. You’ll learn how with HP.
Some big GovLoop news — Steve Ressler — Mr. GovLoop himself — is going to be a daddy. Of course, there are some great comments on Facebook… Ressler 2.0… many people saying how AWESOME it is. We are looking forward to the arrival in September. Congratulations to Team Ressler… and the player to be named later.Remember the bailouts? It appears that the government could actually turn a profit — $15 billion in profit — from the bailout of American International Group — AID. The Washington Post sites a report by the Government Accountability Office. GAO says the the Federal Reserve and the Treasury made available more than $180 billion in aid to the struggling financial giant in 2008 through a variety of mechanisms, including cash infusions. Since then, the Fed and Treasury have recouped all but $46.3 billion.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life for Tuesday the 8th of May,…

  1. We told you last week about how House Republicans were considering a bill that would  protect increased defense department spending. Politico says House Republicans have decided to push ahead with plans to protect increased defense spending without raising taxes, largely by cutting more from domestic programs, including aid to the poor. Politico says the bill won’t sit well with Senate Democrats, who are open to “buying down” a portion of the cuts but believe time, the law — and President Barack Obama — are on their side, unless Republicans show some movement on revenues.
  2. Feds will pay more for their pensions under a new House budget bill. The House Budget Committee approved a bill to avoid the automatic budget cuts scheduled for next year. Government Executive says the alternative budget plan heads to the full House for a vote later this week. Federal News Radio says the bill is designed to skip sequestration by overriding the Budget Control Act now in effect. The new bill includes a 5 percent hike in the amount federal employees contribute to their retirement costs. That raise would be phased in over five years. The White House has vowed to veto the bill should it come to the president’s desk.
  3. Merit Systems Protection Board’s [PDF] policies are getting a makeover. Federal News Radio says the board is looking at how the board is organized, how members make decisions and its practices and procedures for hearing and deciding cases. Chairman Susan Grundmann called the revision a “watershed event.” The agency has already gathered ideas from staff and outside stakeholders. It will publish a proposal in June to give the public time to comment.
  4. Former Federal CIO Vivek Kundra warns that Facebook could be the end of conferences as we know it. Kundra, speaking at at the Excellence in Government conference sponsored by Government Executive, said the federal government needs to use social networks to bring people together from all around the world, not more conferences. He says agencies — many of which are “multi-national” with foreign offices — establish online communities where U.S.-based staff, overseas co-workers and their customers can informally connect anytime, anywhere
  5. The House wants to clear up any confusion with the Pentagon’s new cybersecurity role. NextGov reports, House Armed Services Committee chairman Rep. Howard McKeon has called for legislative language to clarify that the Pentagon can launch secret cybersecurity operations to support military efforts and guard against network attacks. In a release of his draft bill of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2013, the Republican lawmaker pushed for a clause to confirm that the Pentagon has “the authority to conduct clandestine military activities in cyberspace.”
  6. Hackers for good? That’s the idea behind the new group of hackers called the Unknowns.Government Computer News says the group hacked into NASA and Air Force computers to help those agencies patch up security holes. In a blog post on Pastebin, the group said that unlike hacker group Anonymous, it is not against the U.S. government. The Unknowns posted the names and email addresses of government employees but then sent emails to those same employees telling them how they could protect themselves in the future.
  7. And on GovLoop, we’re asking you does your team resemble the Avengers? How many of you have been on a team with team members that resemble one of the Avengers? Take Tony Stark (aka Iron Man), for example. He’s a man who knows everything, has ego for days along with a complimenting sarcastic attitude; or Dr. Bruce Banner (aka The Hulk) a guy who struggles hard to hide his demon under a veneer of cool, and is a recluse (and not much of a team player) because of it; or Thor — the demi god who comes down with a big hammer and acts without complete information most of the time. What do you think? Does your team resemble this group?
A Few Closing Items:
  • Why is austerity so unpopular in Europe? The Washington Post says because, at least so far, it hasn’t worked. Europeans are rebelling against austerity. That’s the read on Sunday’s elections in Greece and France. But why do voters loathe austerity? Perhaps because, as economists have found, efforts to rein in budget deficits can take a wrenching toll on living standards, especially in a recession. And the Washington Post highlights a recent paper for the International Monetary Fund that looked at 173 episodes of fiscal austerity over the past 30 years. These were countries that, for one reason or another, cut spending or raised taxes to shrink their budget deficits. And the results were typically painful: Austerity, the IMF paper found, “lowers incomes in the short term, with wage-earners taking more of a hit than others; it also raises unemployment, particularly long-term unemployment”.
  • Meanwhile, what can be done to put GSA back together again? Federal Computer Week has a column from former GSAer Bob Woods who says there is reason for hope. While it could get worse before it gets better, Woods says this is an opportunity to look at how business has been done — and do a real assessment about whether there is a better way. And he says, streamlining GSA’s regions is one obvious step.

Written by jarvisdorobek

May 8, 2012 at 1:33 PM

DorobekINSIDER: GovLoop Insights Issue of the Week: Finding needles in haystacks — and the changing government market

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GovLoop InsightsHey there — I’m Christopher Dorobek — the DorobekINSIDER — and welcome to the GovLoop Insights Issue of the Week with Chris Dorobek.

Each week, our goal is to where each week, our goal is to find an issue — a person — an idea — then helped define the past 7-days… and we work to find an issue that will also will have an impact on the days, weeks and months ahead. And, as always, we focus on six words: helping you do your job better.

This week, we’ve talked about the challenges of dealing with big data. We’re going to tell you about a company that is going just that — for the intelligence agencies… for the Recovery Board… it’s a story of the Silicon Valley coming to Washington successfully, and it may also be an indication of the direction of government contracting. We’ll talk about the company Palantir.

And as we head into the weekend, we’ll have your weekend reading list… weekends are a time to rejuvenate — but also some time to take a step back and ponder. And we’ll have some reading that may guide you as you work be innovative… to think outside of the box. We’ll have information about the DorobekINSIDER Book Club — it’s coming up on Tuesday Wednesday at the Adobe Government Assembly… and we’ll have details.

But… after the break… we start off as we do every week with a look at the week that was for government… for the first week of February 2012…

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by cdorobek

February 4, 2012 at 10:34 AM

DorobekINSIDER: GovLoop issue of the week: CES, CES Government, and mobile

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GovLoop InsightsWelcome to the GovLoop Insights Issue of the Week with Chris Dorobek.

Each week, our goal is to where each week, our goal is to find an issue — a person — an idea — then helped define the past 7-days… and we work to find an issue that will also will have an impact on the days, weeks and months ahead. And, as always, we focus on six words: helping you do your job better.

This week, we’re going to get geeky… we’re going to embrace our inner nerd. This week was the annual gadget-a-thon known as CES — the Consumer Electronics Show out in Las Vegas. I got to attend for the first time this year — both to CES and CES Government. One of the key speakers was Steve VanRoekel, the federal chief information officer. And later on, we’ll have highlights of his speech, and talk about what it means for you.

Also later on, we’ll have our weekend reading list — the weekends are a good time to rejuvenate — but also some time to take a step back and ponder. And we’ll have some reading that may guide you as you work to think outside of the box.

But after the break, we’ll have our look at the week that was for the second week of January 2012… plus the full Week in Review…

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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…
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by cdorobek

April 21, 2011 at 5:39 PM

DorobekINSIDER: Reorg at GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service; O’Hare to retire

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Just before the end of the year, a significant reorganization coming to GSA’s acquisition leadership.

Ed O’Hare, Assistant Commissioner for the Integrated Technology Services (ITS) portfolio, who took the post in March 2009, will retire effective January 15, 2011, according to a memo by Steve Kempf , the commission of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service sent to employees today. Mary Davie, presently the Assistant Commissioner of FAS’ Office of Assisted Acquisition Services (AAS), will serve as the ITS portfolio’s next leader effective January 16, 2011.  ITS oversees some of the government’s biggest and most important contracts including the GSA schedule contracts, GSA’s governmentwide telecommunications contracts such as Networx , and GSA’s governmentwide acquisition vehicles , including the just announced Alliant.

Joe Jeu, Assistant Commissioner for FAS’ General Supplies and Services (GSS) portfolio, has accepted an opportunity to continue his career at another federal agency, effective January 2, 2011.

Kempf stressed that the Federal Acquisition Services has a deep bench of executives with extensive experience. Therefore, as part of those changes:

* As I mentioned, Mary Davie, presently the Assistant Commissioner of FAS’ Office of Assisted Acquisition Services (AAS), will serve as the ITS portfolio’s next leader effective January 16, 2011.
* Bill Sisk, presently the FAS Southeast Sunbelt Region Commissioner, has agreed to act as the GSS Assistant Commissioner effective January 2, 2011.
* Michael Gelber, presently the FAS Northwest Arctic Region Commissioner, will become the new FAS Pacific Rim Commissioner effective January 16, 2011.

The following people will act in these positions during the upcoming transition period:

* Tim Fleming, presently AAS’ Deputy Assistant Commissioner, will be the Acting Assistant Commissioner for AAS.
* Kelley Holcombe, FAS Deputy Regional Commissioner, will serve as the Acting FAS Southeast Sunbelt Region Commissioner.
* James Hamilton, the Northwest Arctic Region’s Director for Customer Accounts and Research, will serve as the Acting FAS Commissioner in Region 10.

Written by cdorobek

December 20, 2010 at 1:44 PM

DorobekINSIDER: GSA names Taylor as Assistant Commissioner for FAS Acquisition Management

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On the heels of a number of management changed made official yesterday, Steve Kempf, the commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, has named Houston Taylor as the assistant commissioner for the Office of Acquisition Management.

Taylor has been serving in that post in an acting capacity. Previously he Previously Mr. Taylor served as the Director of the Program Analysis Division, were he championed and managed the FAS Environmental Program.

As the assistant commissioner of FAS Acquisition Management, he oversees the direction in planning, organizing and managing major functional areas including Acquisition Career Field Management, Policy Implementation, Socio-Economic Programs, Program Analysis, Supplier Management, and the Federal Supply Schedules Program.

Listen to his speech at the Coalition for Government Procurement conference earlier this year.

The memo from Kempf:

Hello,

I am pleased to announce that Houston Taylor, who has been the Acting Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Acquisition Management, has agreed to permanently fill this role.  In this role Houston will continue to direct FAS acquisition policy initiatives such as socioeconomic and environmental programs and support GSA’s goals through improved acquisition policy management throughout FAS.  His career experience in acquisition, serving both civilian and defense department organizations, will serve him well as he leads the FAS Acquisition Management team.

Please join me in congratulating Houston as he permanently takes over this leadership role.  His energy, commitment to service and collaborative approach to building business solutions that work for FAS and its customers will help him continue to make an impact for FAS.

Steve

Taylor’s bio:

Houston Taylor is the Acting Assistant Commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service’s Office of Acquisition Management, with full authority and shared responsibility for direction in planning, organizing and managing major functional areas including Acquisition Career Field Management, Policy Implementation, Socio-Economic Programs, Program Analysis, Supplier Management, and the Federal Supply Schedules Program.  Previously Mr. Taylor served as the Director of the Program Analysis Division, were he championed and managed the FAS Environmental Program, working in direct support of the General Services Administration’s commitment to providing “green” options for Federal customers while leading the way in environmentally friendly acquisition practices.  Mr. Taylor started his career with GSA as the Director of the Center for Services Acquisition, where he was responsible for managing the Financial and Business Solutions Schedule, a program that exceeded one billion dollars in sales under his leadership.

He brings more than 25 years of procurement and contract management experience to the agency.  Mr. Taylor retired from active duty with the U.S. Air Force in 2000.  His assignments included tours in Turkey, the United Kingdom, the Air Force Inspection Agency, and Operation Provide Comfort, where he worked as a contingency contracting officer in Southern Turkey and Northern Iraq.  In his final assignment he worked at the Pentagon for the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Air Force as the contracting career field manager.  Additional highlights of his extensive government career include service as a contracting professional within the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Postal Service.

Mr. Taylor holds a Graduate Certificate from the University of Virginia in Procurement and Contracts Management, along with an undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland.  He is also a Level III-Certified Contracting Officer and a Certified Federal Contracts Manager.

Mr. Taylor is a native of Canton, Ohio.

Written by cdorobek

September 17, 2010 at 12:43 PM

DorobekINSIDER: OMB’s government performance self-assessment

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The Obama administration’s chief performance officer self-assessment of how the federal government is doing so far: “I believe we are off to a good start, and that we are developing the momentum required for meaningful, sustained improvements in how the government works for the American people.”

In a memo to the Senior Executive Service from Jeff Zients, OMB’s Federal Chief Performance Officer and Deputy Director for Management, titled, “The Accountable Government Initiative – an Update on Our Performance Management Agenda,” Zients lays out the administration’s management plan — and how the administration is doing so far.

Here is the memo:

View this document on Scribd

Written by cdorobek

September 14, 2010 at 9:29 AM

DorobekINSIDER: Tamela Riggs named GSA FAS assistant commissioner

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Some changes at GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service. Tamela “Tami” Riggs will move from GSA’s Public Building Service and has been named to the post of Assistant Commissioner, Office of Customer Accounts and Research for GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service.

Riggs will replace Gary Feit, who has announced that he is retiring next spring.

Here is the note from GSA Administrator Martha Johnson:

From:  Administrator Martha Johnson
Re: A Move That Counts

I am happy to announce today that Tamela Riggs will be assuming the position of Assistant Commissioner, Office of Customer Accounts and Research in the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS).

This move is significant in a number of ways.  First, Gary Feit who has held that position will be retiring next spring.  We want to avoid the discontinuity that occurs when we wait for a position to be vacant before beginning the process of filling it.  Therefore, we are allowing for an overlap so that Gary can help Tami as she steps into the position.  This is an important aspect of succession management, creating an appropriate overlap so institutional memory isn’t lost and the organization is not caught in leadership limbo.

Second, Tami is moving from PBS to FAS.  I can’t emphasize enough the value I place on all of our executives holding a GSA enterprise perspective.  Having experience in various service or staff offices enriches a leader’s perspective, builds networks, and demonstrates an eagerness and ability to change.

Hurray to Tami — and others — who are willing to make such moves.   Their actions speak louder than all the words we can puff about change.

Congratulations to Tami on the move and let’s all look for opportunities to continue to model the message of change.

Martha

And the message sent to FAS Staff from Steve Kempf:

Subject: FAS Leadership Announcements

Hello FAS,

I am pleased to announce several additions and changes in GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service leadership team.

Gary Feit will be joining the FAS Commissioner’s staff as a Senior Advisor to the Deputy Commissioner.  In this role, he will reach out to industry associations, top officials at customer agencies and other stakeholders to improve the quality and effectiveness of FAS programs. Gary has held many positions throughout his GSA career – in the Regions, in various business portfolios and most recently as FAS Assistant Commissioner for Customer Accounts and Research.  He has extensive experience managing customer relationships through training and business outreach initiatives including the GSA Expo.  His deep understanding and thorough knowledge of FAS programs gives him a valuable perspective that will be useful in this new role.

Tami Riggs will be joining the FAS team as the Assistant Commissioner for Customer Accounts and Research.  Most recently, Tami has served GSA’s Public Buildings Service as the Acting Assistant Commissioner for Organizational Resources where she successfully planned and implemented business strategies to meet GSA customer needs.  She has a deep knowledge of both FAS and PBS business portfolios, having worked in each organization during her career.  Tami has a proven track record which will help her be successful in deepening FAS relationships with our customers.

Marty Jennings will join the FAS General Supplies and Services Portfolio as the Deputy Assistant Commissioner.  Marty has over 35 years of government experience, serving in the U.S. Army and most recently as Director of Logistics at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  His leadership and program management skills gained from his career as a soldier and as an officer, combined with his expertise in logistics, prepare him well to assist leading the GSS Portfolio employees and programs to future success.

Please join me in congratulating Gary, Tami, and Marty as they undertake these leadership roles in FAS.  Their spirit of service, commitment to innovative thinking and collaborative approach to building business solutions that work for customers will help FAS shape its future and ensure many years.

Written by cdorobek

September 8, 2010 at 5:14 PM

DorobekINSIDER: OFPP recertifies NIH governmentwide contract

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The DorobekINSIDER has confirmed that the Office of Federal Procurement Policy has recertified the National Institute of Health Information Technology Acquisition & Assessment Center’sChief Information Officer – Solutions and Partners 3 (CIO-SP3), one of three governmentwide acquisition contracts.

There was widespread speculation that OFPP might not recertify the NIH contract — and Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller has been reporting that there has been a real focus whether there was a proliferation of multiple-award contracts. (See Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s special report — Contract Overload, which focused on the multiples of multiple-award contracts out there.)

Here is the OFPP decision:

On July 20, 2010, the OMB Director designated NIH as an executive agent for the Chief Information Officer Solutions and Partners 3 (CIOSP3) GWAC and the CIOSP3-Small Business GWAC.  Each GWAC will offer a wide range of IT services, with a particular focus on health-related IT services.

In deciding whether to grant the designation, OMB carefully evaluated a business case NIH developed to justify the need and value of its proposed GWACs.  To supplement this information, OMB conducted a significant amount of outreach with different stakeholders in the acquisition community, including agency users of NIH’s existing GWACs, agency managers of GWACs and other interagency contract vehicles, Chief Acquisition Officers and Senior Procurement Executives, trade associations, and Congressional staffers.

OMB approved the request based on several factors that promise enhanced value for the Government and our taxpayers.  NIH’s proposed GWACs will fill an important need by agencies with health-related responsibilities, including those in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  The programmatic expertise of its in-house scientists and medical experts will provide strong support for the award and management of its contracts.  The new GWAC vehicles will also provide increased opportunities for small businesses in Federal contracting, allowing agencies to tap into the talents of this community as they work to achieve best value for their missions and our citizens.

Written by cdorobek

July 22, 2010 at 3:46 PM

DorobekINSIDER: Kempf named to head GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service

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Steve Kempf has been named to lead GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service.

Kempf has been serving the acting commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service since the departure of Jim Williams in April.

GSA's Kempf

The Federal Acquisition Service is the big buyer for government. It oversees contracts such as the GSA schedule contracts, the multi-billion dollar Alliant contract, and the Networx telecommunications contract.

There were four finalists for the FAS job. Kempf was seen as the front-runner. That surprised that GSA Administrator Martha Johnson would select Kempf, selecting somebody from inside the organization.

That being said, Kempf is well respected both within the procurement community, in industry, and within GSA. And he won high praise for his performance at a recent hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight, which focused on the number of government multiple-award contracts.

In addition to naming Kempf as FAS commissioner, Johnson also announced that Jon Jordan will become the permanent deputy commissioner.

“Jon has worked in GSA and FAS’ budget programs for over 36 years and his deep operational knowledge, commitment to excellence and good stewardship of taxpayer dollars will be invaluable to FAS’ future,” Johnson said in a note to staff.

Here is the note Johnson sent to GSA staff:

To:  GSA Employees
From: Administrator Martha Johnson
Subject: FAS Commissioner Announcement

Many of you have heard me speak of this as GSA’s moment. We have set aggressive goals and been challenged to play a leading role in key Administration priorities by the White House. We are on the frontline for championing sustainability, open government, acquisition performance, flexible workplace and more. Leadership and enterprise positioning will be key to our success.

Therefore, I am delighted to announce today that Steve Kempf has accepted my offer to be the next Commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, one of our most critical leadership positions.

As GSA steps forward, so, too, will FAS be facing a challenge. FAS has expertise, operational know-how, and extensive customer knowledge. Used well, these will position FAS to gain further market credibility by offering customer agencies real value as they strive to meet their missions under constrained resources.  This opportunity is real, and it is now.

At this critical juncture in FAS’ history and as an 18 year veteran of FAS, Steve brings significant expertise to the Commissioner role having served as a contracting officer, lawyer, and business professional. Equally as impressive is Steve’s leadership style. He is collaborative, inclusive and
eager for change. I am confident that Steve will combine his deep roots, loyalty, and enthusiasm for FAS and transform it into our customers’ hands down, preferred, acquisition partner.

For starters, Steve has already made strides in:

•     Revitalizing FAS’ relationships with its customers;
•     Appointing an executive to champion innovation and transformation across FAS;
•     Driving forward on the Zero Environmental Footprint goal and other key enterprise objectives;
•     Building leadership prowess and a workforce positioned for success;
•     Completing and executing the FAS strategic reviews and implementation plans for key programs;
•     Deepening change management capacity; and
•     Communicating constantly with employees, customers, industry, and stakeholders to bolster FAS’ ability to perform with excellence.

In addition, I am delighted to announce that Jon Jordan will become the permanent Deputy Commissioner. Jon has worked in GSA and FAS’ budget programs for over 36 years and his deep operational knowledge, commitment to excellence and good stewardship of taxpayer dollars will be invaluable to FAS’ future.

Please join me in congratulating both Steve and Jon on their permanent appointments and pledge to give them the support they and FAS will need to turbo-charge its future.

Written by cdorobek

July 13, 2010 at 11:22 AM

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