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FCW : June 30, 2015
The Office of Federal Procurement Policy has issued guidance reminding federal chief acquisition officers that although reverse auctions can result in lower prices for common goods and services, they must be used carefully. In a six-page memo to senior pro- curement executives, OFPP Adminis- trator Anne Rung described how best to apply the acquisition technique. She promised to work with agen- cies to gather information — including prices paid for items, fees, number of bidders and levels of interactive bid- ding — to help build a digital library on reverse auctions for acquisition officers. The memo also starts the ball rolling on incorporating information on the use of reverse auctions in the Federal Acquisition Regulation. The guidance follows a December 2014 request from Reps. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) and Sam Graves (R-Mo.) that OFPP look into opening a FAR case to address reverse auctions. Current House Small Business Committee Chair- man Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) introduced legislation in March aimed at protect- ing small companies by requiring for- mal training for contracting officers who use reverse auctions, and prohibiting the use of reverse auctions for sole- source contracts. In the past year, use of the General Services Administration’s reverse- auction platform surged 1,000 percent, wrote Joan Kornblith, communications manager at GSA’s Federal Acquisi- tion Service, in a February blog post. From the first quarter of fiscal 2014 to the first quarter of fiscal 2015, auc- tion sales rose from $737,000 to $10.8 million. Studies by the Government Account- ability Office have shown that reverse auctions have not been used effec- tively in some instances. Accordingly, Rung’s memo advises that CAOs follow a number of best practices, such as determining whether reverse auctions are the best fit for a given acquisition, making sure to review data from prior auctions and addressing small-business participation. She also recommends that procure- ment officers be aware of fees charged by third-party auction providers and work with them to set a fair fee struc- ture, which could be based on a per- centage of the transaction, a percent- age of the savings or a flat amount. — Mark Rockwell OFPP issues guidance on reverse auctions current and former federal employees’ personal information was compromised in a recent OPM data breach 4 million Do you know someone who is a Rising Star in federal IT? If so, be sure to nominate that individual today because we have extended the deadline for 2015 Rising Star nominations — but only by a week! And when the window for nominations closes at midnight ET on July 9, we want to have the best possible candi- dates for our judges to consider. The Rising Star awards spotlight women and men who are having an outsized impact on federal IT and who show clear signs of being leaders in the community in the years to come. Nominees can work in federal agen- cies, private companies, academia or the nonprofit world. The only restrictions are that they be actively involved in the community and in the first 10 years of their federal IT careers. What makes for a winner? In many ways, we follow the same criteria we use for the Federal 100 awards. We are seeking people whose lead- ership, innovation and all- around extra effort are hav- ing a powerful and positive impact on federal IT. Here are some additional guidelines to keep in mind: • This is an individual award. Teams are important, too, but we’re look- ing for the women and men who power that collaboration. • Winners go above and beyond, whatever their level or rank. A fancy job title is not required, and doing one’s job well is not enough. • Impact matters. The judges need to know not only what a nominee did but also what all that work accomplished. • The award is for work done in the past year. Future leadership poten- tial is important, too, but one must have had clear accomplishments in the past 12 months. • You can nominate multiple peo- ple, but only if you move fast! So gather your information and supporting nominators, and get those nominations in by July 9. Go to FCW.com/2015risingstars to learn more, and then let us know where to find the leaders of tomor- row — and the rising stars of today. — Troy K. Schneider firstname.lastname@example.org @troyschneider EDITOR’S NOTE Rising Star nominations: The final days June 30, 2015 FCW.COM 7 POGO.ORG 0630fcw_003-007.indd 7 6/10/15 12:28 PM
June 15, 2015
July 15, 2015