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FCW : June 30, 2016
June 30, 2016 FCW.COM 13 Most efforts to improve the procurement system in the past 20 years have focused on the process by which agencies develop requirements and acquisition approaches (known in contracting terms as “acquisition planning”) and choose a winning contractor (known as “source selection”). In contrast, the third stage — post-award contract man- agement — has received relatively little attention, low vis- ibility and often insufficient resources from government and industry alike. Some even worry that after a contract is awarded, nobody is minding the store, to borrow the title of a 2008 IBM Center for the Business of Government brief on the topic by Allan Burman, former administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. Yet it is during this third stage that the acquisition rubber meets the performance road. This is where contractors perform well or poorly. In a series of blog posts for FCW, Steve Kelman has cited its neglect as a significant issue for the contracting system. Following up on those posts and subsequent dialogue, the IBM Center for the Business of Government joined Kelman in hosting a roundtable discussion on post-award contract management. The heart of the discussion was a group of agency contracting officer’s representatives (CORs), the officials whose job description centers on post-award contract man- agement, and several agency senior procurement execu- tives (SPEs), Office of Management and Budget officials and other key stakeholders. That group of highly motivated and dedicated agency officials used the non-attribution setting to discuss current challenges and opportunities for improvement. Below we summarize key issues addressed during the roundtable. We are grateful to the participants; their obser- vations provide useful input for the contracting, IT and program management communities. We invite comments and reactions and look forward to delving more deeply into these subjects in future articles on how government can get the most out of its contract dollars. 0630fcw_012-015.indd 13 6/6/16 1:59 PM
June 15, 2016
July 15, 2016