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CONTRACTORS SHOULD EXPECT NON-TRADITIONAL ACQUISITION METHODS TO GROW

The federal government acquisition system moves too slowly to meet evolving national security needs according to both US and non-US observers.  In addition, the practice of trying to use the federal procurement system to meet varied socio-economic goals adds to the regulatory overhead.  These are just two reasons why contractors should expect non-traditional acquisition methods such as Other Transaction Authority and SBIR contracts for small businesses to grow.  The need to have an efficient, effective acquisition system is becoming especially acute due to unsettling international developments, according to Moshe Schwartz, president of Etherton & Associates.  Schwartz spoke last week at the Coalition for Government Procurement Spring Conference and painted a stark, but accurate, picture of the Read more

THREE REASONS WHY CONTRACTORS NEED TO BE PROACTIVE IN ENGAGING BOTH CUSTOMERS & POLICY MAKERS

The recent Coalition for Government Procurement Spring Conference provided good information on the federal procurement landscape.   One unmistakable take away is that contractors must be proactive in engaging not only their customers, but acquisition policy makers.  The following three issues are just some reasons why.

1.  Policy Makers Clearly Don’t Understand the Value of the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF):  The Department of Defense will spend nearly $728M in FY’25 maintaining two dozen legacy systems that “can and should” be retired.  That’s a huge waste of money, especially in a time of relatively flat overall budgets.  Congress, however, just cut funding for the TMF program, Read more

GSA’S ALLIANT3 CONTRACT FACES HURDLES

Although contractors are anxious to bid on GSA’s highly anticipated Alliant3 contract for IT solutions and continue doing business via what has been a successful program, no one should anticipate a quick Alliant3 ramp-up.  There are plenty of warning signs right now that point to some potentially lengthy delays unless the agency takes prompt corrective action.  First, the Alliant3 team states that its intent is to have 76 total awards.  It is unclear, however, what is unique about 76, other than it calling to mind The Music ManThis relatively low number for a highly touted procurement practically invites protests as companies seek to gain the Read more

FY’25 BUDGET PROCESS UNDERWAY – WHAT IT MEANS TO CONTRACTORS

Even though some federal customers just received their “final” FY’24 spending numbers, Congress is already working on FY’25 legislation.  A stream of executive branch officials are now coming to the Hill to testify on behalf of their money requests.  In addition, new faces on the House Appropriations Committee may mean delays and/or shifted priorities.  While it’s a given that Congress will not pass FY’25 spending bills on time, contractors still need to pay attention to how the debate on next year’s money is unwinding.  First, House and Senate Democrats are insisting on parity between defense and civilian agency spending.  If Republicans want to increase DOD spending, they may have to allow for parallel increases in civilian Read more

WHAT NEW SMALL BUSINESS NUMBERS MEAN FOR CONTRACTORS OF ANY SIZE

Federal agencies beat their small business contracting goal by over 5% in FY’23, awarding 28.4% of all eligible contracts to small businesses.  In addition to prime contracting dollars, small businesses also saw more subcontracting money than ever before.  While these numbers are impressive on the surface, contractors of any size should take a moment to understand what they mean for government business.  First, the federal government has met or exceeded the 23% small business prime contract goal for several years in a row.  It’s no wonder, then, that the House Small Business Committee recently passed a measure to increase that goal to 25%. Read more