Agency’s discussions only with awardee were improper, says GAO

When a procurement agency opens discussions with one offeror, it must open discussions with all offerors within the competitive range.

GAO-GovernmentAccountabilityOffice-SealIn a recent bid protest decision, the GAO held that a procuring agency conducted improper discussions when it limited discussions to only one offeror.

The GAO’s decision in International Waste Industries, B-411338 (July 7, 2015) involved a solicitation for the delivery of a solid waste incinerator to Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickham. The solicitation notified offerors that the government planned to procure the incinerator using simplified acquisition procedures.  Award was to be made to the lowest priced, technically acceptable offeror.

Keep reading this article at: http://smallgovcon.com/gaobidprotests/agencys-discussions-only-with-awardee-were-improper-says-gao/

Rotational training: A road to broader experience

Most contracting managers (indeed most professionals) will point to past experiences that prepared them for current and future challenges.

Common sense indicates that exposure to diverse work environments experiences, tasks, managers, strategies, or knowledge provides a deeper background and preparation for subsequent broader career complexities.

Value of Rotational TrainingRotational programs are a way to obtain broader experience, in preparation for future higher management roles down the road. Once completed, such programs can better ensure participants can fulfill their current responsibilities, having received a stronger understanding of other perspectives and functions.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.federaltimes.com/story/government/acquisition/blog/2015/07/20/rotational-training-road-broader-experience/30412283/

Current and former DoD execs rally against NDAA amendment decentralizing DoD acquisition power

Current and former Defense Department officials have taken issue with a provision in the Senate’s defense authorization proposal that shifts power away from Pentagon’s acquisition chief.

US DoD logoThe Senate’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2016 includes a provision that would shift decision-making power on acquisition matters from the assistant defense secretary for acquisition and logistics – currently Frank Kendall – to the service chiefs.

At a July 17 Center for Strategic and International Studies panel discussion, Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Alan Estevez said the shift of power will cut off the assistant defense secretary at the knees.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.fiercegovernment.com/story/current-and-former-dod-execs-rally-against-ndaa-amendment-decentralizing-do/2015-07-21

‘Tis the season for multiple award contracts

Call it what you want — the “budget flush,” “federal Black Friday,” or the “federal holiday spending season” — but the government’s unofficial spending deluge is underway.

Selected GSA eBuy StatsFor more than four decades, federal agencies have been federally mandated to spend all of their allotted budget or face having it taken away. From August through the end of September have traditionally seen the heaviest spending by federal agencies.

“There are 55 shopping days left this year,” Bill Gormley, president and managing partner at the Gormley Group, said in a conference panel at a Bloomberg Government conference in McLean, Va. The next three months will see the heaviest spending of the year for federal agencies, he said.

Keep reading this article at: http://fcw.com/articles/2015/07/15/multiple-award-contracts.aspx

GSA pushes for new and improved acquisition tools

Chris Hamm, the director of the General Services Administration’s Federal System Integration and Management Center, said government contracting costs too much and takes too much time.

GSA logo“The process is incredibly costly to you and it’s incredibly costly to the government,” Hamm said at a recent contracting conference. “I think the entire system is broken.”

That is why GSA is pushing to use new tools, techniques and processes to make the solicitation and contracting processes easier, faster and cheaper — and contractors should be watching closely.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.federaltimes.com/story/government/acquisition/2015/07/17/gsa-pushes-new-improved-acquisition-tools/30079605/