Midnight shutdown of federal government avoided

Con­gress has aver­ted a mid­night shut­down.

Budget Book Cover_2016The House of Representatives on Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, September 30, fol­lowed the Sen­ate’s ex­ample by eas­ily passing a tem­por­ary spend­ing bill, fund­ing the federal gov­ern­ment through Decem­ber 11, 2015.

The stop-gap budget meas­ure passed the Sen­ate by a 78-20 vote.  The budget then cleared the House by 277-151.

Federal contractors worry that a government shutdown would be a ‘nightmare’

Another government shutdown would be a “nightmare” for the federal contracting community, disrupting business, leaving employees wondering about furloughs and cutting corporate profits, according to area business leaders.

20131112_193738They are looking at the looming Sept. 30 deadline, by which Congress has to pass a spending plan, with a mix of angst and dread, while clinging to hope that a crisis will be averted, several executives said at a conference organized by the Professional Services Council, a trade group.

“There is a lot of concern because it’s completely out of their control,” said Alan Chvotkin, the PSC’s executive vice president and counsel.

While much of the attention to a possible shutdown has been focused on the hundreds of thousands of federal workers who would likely be affected, there would also be a major impact on the contractors who often work alongside their government counterparts and are essential to the daily operations of the federal government.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2015/09/21/federal-contractors-worried-that-government-shutdown-would-be-a-nightmare/

Why federal CIO Tony Scott hates end-of-year IT spending spree

The end-of-the-year spending spree — in which agencies cram contract spending into the last quarter of the fiscal year — is a time-honored tradition in government contracting.  

And Tony Scott, one of the Obama administration’s top tech officials, hates it.

Tony Scott is the federal government's Chief Information Officer and administrator of OMB’s Office of Electronic Government and Information Technology.
Tony Scott is the federal government’s Chief Information Officer and administrator of OMB’s Office of Electronic Government and Information Technology.

Since being named the federal chief information officer in February, the former corporate IT exec with stints at VMware, Microsoft and Disney said he’s come to learn about the “use-it-or-lose-it” nature of federal IT funding that fuels the annual spending spike.

“That’s just a really bad way to run IT,” he said August 26, 2015 during a presentation at the Digital Government Institute’s 930Gov conference in Washington.

The end-of-the-year pressure drives agencies into “exactly the wrong behavior,” Scott said: more short-term, even frivolous, spending and less of a focus on longer-term investments.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.nextgov.com/cio-briefing/2015/08/federal-cio-tony-scott-hates-end-year-it-spending-spree/119696

Cloud of sequestration looms over DC region

Five weeks before another round of deep Defense Department cuts is set to go into effect absent action from Congress, budget analysts and elected leaders throughout the region are renewing concerns about the Washington area’s reliance on Pentagon spending and the need to advance private sector growth in its place.

20131112_193738No state is more reliant on defense spending than Virginia, where it affects nearly 13 percent of the commonwealth’s economic output, tops nationwide, and provides the basis for 11 percent of jobs, third in the nation.

D.C. and Maryland also rank in the top 10 in Defense Department spending among states, with 6.9 percent and 5.8 percent of their output relying on defense respectively, according to a department report released last year.

In some ways Virginia is still reeling from automatic spending cuts known as sequestration that took place in 2013. The state’s gross domestic product had zero growth in 2014, according to a recent Department of Commerce report, third worst among states.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/digger/wp/2015/08/23/cloud-of-sequestration-looms-over-d-c-region/

‘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