The federal government must get more comfortable with risk if it is to deliver the nimbler and more performance-based acquisition regulations that defense contractors pine for, a panel of industry executives said this week.
Federal contracting officials should move from the “adversarial, risk-intolerant oversight culture we have with procurement to one that incentivizes and encourages innovation and appropriate, smart risk-taking,” said Joe Jordan, FedBid’s president of public sector, during an April 23 panel discussion hosted by Bloomberg Government.
There is a widespread perception among federal contractors that the government punishes rather than rewards innovation, he added. “If you step out [on] the ledge half an inch, you’re worried about the IG report, the GAO report, your boss getting called to the Hill and then you bearing the brunt of the repercussions.”
Abandoning that risk-averse approach requires a cultural shift, he added — something bigger and less tangible than amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation.
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