Say goodbye to 100 page RFPs – 18F found another way

The sprint is over and companies that competed for a slot on 18F’s Agile BPA are lauding what they hope will become a new standard for federal procurement.

18F at GSAIn looking for companies to provide agile development services, the innovative arm of the General Services Administration opted for a ‘show, don’t tell’ approach to the solicitation process. Rather than ask companies for reams of paper promising agile capabilities, 18F set up a proving ground: a two-week test sprint where the only real measurement of success was a working product.

“I certainly hope that this is a new way to do [procurements] going forward,” said Joe Truppo, senior manager at Octo Consulting. “Instead of us delivering 40 pages saying what we could do, we actually got a chance to show them what we could do.”

Keep reading this article at: http://www.federaltimes.com/story/government/acquisition/2015/07/27/18f-show-dont-tell/30737575/

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

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/

House bill makes incremental acquisition reform, Senate version makes sweeping changes

While acquisition reform provisions in the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) are a first step in a multi-year transformation, the Senate’s version is much more sweeping, says a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report.

Congressional Research ServiceThe acquisition reform sections of the House and Senate versions of the fiscal 2016 NDAA have many similarities, with more than half of the provisions in the Senate bill addressing the same issues found in the House bill.

But the overall scope of the two bills is very different, says the CRS report posted by open government expert Stephen Aftergood on his Secrecy News blog.

“Taken as a whole, the House bill was not intended to be a panacea for what ails defense acquisitions,” the report says.

The CRS says it is intended to serve as an initial step in a multi-year, collaborative effort to improve acquisitions.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.fiercegovernment.com/story/crs-house-ndaa-makes-incremental-acquisition-reform-while-senate-bill-makes/2015-07-08

Senators push to reform federal program management

A bipartisan pair of Senators have introduced legislation that aims to improve how the federal government manages projects and to cut wasteful spending on poorly managed programs.

Seal_of_the_United_States_SenateSenators Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., introduced the Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act, which would create a formal job series and career path for program managers in the federal government in order to improve how agencies manage projects.

The bill also requires that the Office of Management and Budget develop and adopt governmentwide standards, policies and guidelines for program and project management at federal agencies, as well as chair an interagency council on program management.

OMB would also conduct annual reviews of agency projects and programs to see if they were being managed correctly, including addressing issues identified as high risk by the Government Accountability Office.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.federaltimes.com/story/government/management/agency/2015/06/11/programs/71081260/