DOD, VA, Treasury, and Agriculture could all see significant increases in personnel if key parts of President Biden’s budget are adopted. The additions would create the largest federal workforce since World War II, providing increased opportunities for contractors to provide services and solutions in support of expanded federal functions. While some believe that the president’s budget was “dead on arrival” in Congress, others point out that key parts of previous budget proposals are usually adopted in whole or in part by the time Congress has finished its Read more
Customer Experience, or “CX” has exploded as a priority in government acquisition over the past 18 months. DHS is setting up an agency-wide directorate just to handle CX implementation, while Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) money is being re-routed away from replacing legacy systems and into CX solutions. The ascendency of CX spending poses opportunities and challenges for contractors. First, the growth of CX projects means that companies have a new way in which they can cast their technology and service solutions. Answering the question of how your solution helps improve services to veterans, Social Security Read more
Small business technology companies can offer innovative solutions and provide a prime contractor with both small business points and a technological edge. They also may have less consistent funding, especially if their backers become concerned with the state of financial markets and start removing their support. All companies doing business with the federal government must be financially sound. Supply chains and project fulfillment can suffer if a company loses access to capital. The time for a prime contractor to double check the stability of their subs is before a crisis occurs. It is notable that the Pentagon recently expended Read more
Although there is no great news on a deal to pass legislation increasing the federal debt ceiling, contractors may take some comfort in knowing that the timeline for such action has moved to sometime between July and September, leaving some to speculate that Congress may pass a last-minute deal right before they leave for August recess. That, in fact, is what happened the last time this issue surfaced with a Republican-controlled House and a Democratic White House. While the Treasury Department is still officially holding to their original June 5th estimate, the Congressional Budget Office believes that increased revenues will provide more Read more
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will lead a new effort to modernize civilian agency technology as one part of the Biden Administration’s recently released National Cybersecurity Strategy. The move is just the latest effort in attempting to eliminate obsolete federal technology systems. While contractors may support the intent of the OMB initiative, they must also note that previous attempts at achieving this goal have met with mixed results. The IT Modernization Fund, a popular way for agencies to pay for new systems, has achieved well-publicized successes, but has never been fully funded. It faces consistent suspicion from Congress, likely due to the fact that, beyond the IT modernization mandate, Congress does not control how the money in the fund is spent. Congress also favors some agencies over others. This most notably means that any modernization money for the IRS may be very hard to come by. OMB and specific agency leadership often clash, too, over prioritizing systems that need modernization now, which can wait, and how a finite amount of money can still fund new programs. Among the OMB initiative priorities will be to develop a plan that “will identify milestones to remove all legacy systems incapable of implementing our zero trust architecture strategy within a decade, or otherwise mitigate risks to those that cannot be replaced in that timeframe.” Experienced contractors know that a 10 year window can often lead to distractions and conflicts with newer mandates. OMB is to be credited with trying to solve an acknowledged problem. They will need support from all stakeholders, though, if they are going to succeed.