Inside the Worlds Biggest Buyer

  • Agencies have much to learn from bid protest process

    Joseph Petrillo, a federal contract attorney with Petrillo and Powell, agreed with a recent report that bid protests help to keep the federal government honest. Unfortunately, the 2,000 or so annual bid protests are just a drop in the bucket of the millions of possible protestable contract actions out there.

  • Contractors experience limited communication between industry, agencies

    IBM Federal General Manager Todd Ramsey busts myths about government procurement. Although well-conceived, he said current acquisition procedures do more harm than good.

  • DHS improving aim to stop counterfeits at the borders

    The Homeland Security Department is taking a two-pronged approach to protecting the federal supply chain. The first addresses the DHS mission cargo crossing into the U.S. The second is an interagency effort to ensure the government is working together on investigations. DHS said seizures of counterfeit goods at the border increased by 20 percent in 2011.

  • Is it always a good time time to sell to Uncle Sam?

    The landscape of the government contracting world is changing faster than ever. Understanding what’s happening now will help you understand what may be coming in the months and years ahead. Phil Kiviat, with Guerra Kiviat, a federal sales consulting firm, discusses if there’s a good or bad time to sell to the government.

  • Rapid acquisition speeds capabilities to warfighters

    With a $500 billion budget, the United States is the world’s biggest buyer, and Defense is the biggest piece of that pie. The Rapid Acquisition Program has kicked into overdrive to help warfighters in Iraq and Afghanistan. Roy Smith, an executive vice president at ITG and a member of the executive advisory council of the National Contract Management Association, discusses how the program works and how industry views its achievements.

  • Agencies, vendors ramping up to fight supply chain cyber threats

    The White House, Congress, DoD and many others are trying to stem the tide of counterfeit products and software with malicious code from entering federal systems. The administration soon will release recommendations for how all agencies and vendors can improve the security of their products. DoD issued a memo in March requiring changes to how services protect their supply chains.

  • Veteran-owned businesses question fairness of VA’s contractor verification

    The process to ensure veterans are receiving contracts from the VA is actually shutting out some veteran business owners. But the VA says it inherited a large responsibility quickly and has since made great strides in improving its verification program.

  • Vendors start to see contracts slowing down with sequestration looming

    Contractors warn of possible layoffs due to potential budget cuts. Some companies are in waiting mode to see what happens with Congress over the next six months.

  • Better understanding of vendors’ processes would go a long way

    Bob Lam, a former partner with Accenture’s Worldwide Public Services business practice, offers his take on how agencies could improve the acquisition process for vendors. Lam spent 30 years in the federal market. He says agencies need to better understand vendor processes and improve communication.

  • Suspension, debarment numbers don’t tell full story

    Despite mounting pressure from certain quarters of the government and Congress to more aggressively suspend and debar irresponsible contractors, some agencies only rarely, if ever, do so. Rob Burton, the former acting administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, said data on suspensions and debarments isn’t always an apples-to-apples comparison.

  • Acquisition process not always seamless

    As part of Federal News Radio’s week-long multimedia special report, Inside the World’s Biggest Buyer, Lee Dougherty a member of General Counsel, P.C.’s Government Contracts Practice discusses the suspension and debarment process.

  • Bid protesting system helps agencies police themselves

    Steven Maser, a professor of public policy and administration at Willamette University, recently completed a study on the bid protest process. While he acknowledged that the number of bid protests were on the rise, he didn’t necessarily think that was a bad thing for agencies and contractors.

  • Suspension, debarment a ‘business decision’ for agencies

    Agencies are using suspensions and debarments more often as a way to stop or prevent doing business with contractors who lie, cheat or just do shoddy work. David Sims, chairman of the Interagency Suspension and Debarment Committee and a suspension and debarment manager at the Interior Department, gives an overview of the use of suspension and debarment governmentwide.

  • Suspension and debarments rise amid pressure from Congress

    Agencies are making greater use of their ability to declare contractors and individuals ineligible for work by the federal government. Some outside experts suggest the increase may be the result of hasty decisions.

  • New OFPP administrator has sights set on workforce, ‘buying smarter’

    Joe Jordan has led the Office of Federal Procurement Policy for a little more than two weeks. But he’s wasting no time setting priorities. Jordan spoke to In Depth with Francis Rose as part of Federal News Radio’s week-long special report, Inside the World’s Biggest Buyer.