Federal contracting officials, like their state and local government counterparts, find that innovation in public contracting is hard to define, but they know it when they see it.
Something else they agree on, in the words of Robert Johnson, procurement manager for the Central Florida Expressway Authority, “Legal runs 10 years behind innovation.”
That comment drew knowing chuckles from government and industry attendees at the National Contract Management Association’s big annual confab in Orlando.
But Tom Sharpe, the commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) at the General Services Administration (GSA), pointed out that law and regulation don’t necessarily stifle innovation. He cited the Treasury Department when Congress gave it billions to stabilize the banking industry after the 2008 crash. Sharpe was Treasury’s acquisition executive at the time.
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