This article was originally published March 17, 2020 on WashingtonTechnology.com The primary impact is that everyone involved in Federal procurement – acquisition professionals, Federal contractors, and others – is busy rearranging personal affairs. Making sure you, those you love, and everyone in your community is safe is what should be the primary concern. But once the dust settles, the short- and long-term impacts will become apparent. Predictions and Best Guesses While we can’t predict the full extent of the impact at this time, change is happening. Some best guesses: Procurement delays: Upcoming procurements are slipping to the right, whether that means RFP release or due dates. These delays are due to the Government focusing on emergency acquisitions as well as the loss of productivity as employees work and/or recover from illness at home. Travel: Non-essential travel is banned as are large gatherings. The Government cannot host in-person industry days, site … Continue reading COVID-19: What Can Federal Contractors Do?
After the Department of Homeland Security cancelled the $1.5 billion Flexible Agile Support for the Homeland (FLASH) procurement May 26, the vendor community was irritated, and rightfully so. This Small Business (SB) set-aside, procured through the DHS Procurement Innovation Lab (PIL), required time, money, and expertise to undertake a technical challenge. Bidders had to demonstrate specialized skills in the incremental Agile software development methodology with rapid prototyping and better user interfaces. Numerous protests and a cancelled procurement After 111 companies applied for a spot on this IDIQ through a process that included limited written proposals, a three-minute initial video, and a four-hour live technology demonstration, DHS made 11 awards that were quickly the subject of 35 separate protests by 10 bidders. Protests centered around numerous mistakes made in the evaluation process. When DHS subsequently cancelled the procurement after six months, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) dismissed the protests. Industry outcry … Continue reading DHS FLASH 2.0: Should you invest in this procurement?
Federal contractors may be getting a welcome holiday gift. The National Defense Authorization Act of 2017 directs more limited use of Low Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA) procurements. The bill, which is now with the president for signature, legislates a Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Supplement revision that would limit the use of LPTA to only the most straightforward commodity procurements. This legislation is a logical follow on to Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall’s March 4, 2016 memo, which stated that LPTA “has a clear, but limited place in the source selection best value continuum” and narrowly defined when LPTA is appropriate for Department of Defense (DoD) procurements. The March memo was part of DoD’s Better Buying Power acquisition reforms based on data analysis that showed LPTA, while resulting in short-term savings, often cost agencies more money in the long term. LPTA avoidance The new … Continue reading Is LPTA finally dead?
By Eric Gregory, Senior Vice President of Consulting at Shipley Associates and Bob Lohfeld, Founder and CEO of Lohfeld Consulting Group Witness the latest debacle in IT procurement: Healthcare.gov. According to testimony before Congress, approximately $200M was spent to incur this technical, political, and potentially social disaster, which has far reaching consequences beyond the IT community. And how much of this disaster relates to procurement practices? In our world—the world of federal government contracting—it all relates to procurement. Procurement represents a complex lifecycle from the embryonic idea to the final system or service sunset and then even to the cutover or transition to a new system, new provider, or new methodology. None of this just happens. We have been here before. The idea that we need to reform government procurement is overreaching. There is far too much right within government procurement than is wrong, and we don’t need to scrap … Continue reading Can we really improve information technology procurement? Absolutely.