EVEN WITHOUT “PERMANENT” LEADERS ACQUISITION DIRECTION LOOKS CLEAR
Greater centralization, an emphasis on new market participants, and fewer regulations are unmistakable signals that the Trump Administration is sending on what they believe are the essential ingredients to drive better federal acquisition. With no GSA or Office of Federal Procurement Policy Administrator named, observers must look elsewhere to see the unfolding picture. Statements coming from the White House Office of American Innovation indicate that Category Management may have just been the first phase of trying to centralize acquisition around a few “best in class” contracts. Reducing duplication and lowering overhead are key parts of this Administration’s acquisition management agenda. Similarly, the Administration’s rush to re-fund DOD’s DIUx innovation arm at year-end, increased interest in GSA’s 18F innovation lab, and support for commercial e-commerce platforms all indicate a belief that new talent and ideas are needed to drive larger change inside federal agencies. Incumbent contractors? You may be part of the swamp. The good news is that a reduced regulatory burden, starting with the government-wide directive last week to repeal or hold over 800 regulations, may provide an element of relief to traditional contractors and enable them to compete with shiny, new innovators.