A look at the increasing size of the acquisition workforce. Data is from the Federal Acquisition Institute.
This chart shows the rise and leveling off of contracting dollars since 2000.
Bid protests of government contracts have been on a steady rise over the past decade.
The State Department’s share of overseas contingency contracting has grown over the last few years as the department took on new activities and functions as the military departed Iraq. Still, the budget shows, the Defense Department is the main player in overseas contingency contracting. And there’s no guarantee Congress won’t turn to the foreign affairs budget in its efforts to dramatically reduce the deficit.
When the Defense Department began contingency contracting operations on a large-scale in Iraq in 2003 it was largely a trial by fire. Despite the best planning, DoD lacked the programs and practical solutions to handle the environment, officials say. Since then, commissions, panels and lawmakers have offered fixes and DoD has evolved to try to create “rock-solid” reforms. Federal News Radio examines these issues in the next part of our series, Inside the World’s Biggest Buyer.
Ever since 2003, contractors have played a major role in the contingency operations in Iraq. But with the transition to a State Department-led diplomatic mission there, some analysts believe contractors will play an even more central role. As part of the special series, Trial by Fire: Overseas Contracting in Transition, Federal News Radio examines how industry fared in the DoD-to-State handoff and whether State’s enhanced role spells new opportunities for contractors.
Pia Romero is a contracts administrator at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and serves as an executive officer in the New Mexico Army National Guard. In a column for Federal News Radio’s special report, Inside the World’s Biggest Buyer, she says DoD’s Rapid Acquisition Program provides items to the force, allows the contracting community the ability to participate and compete in the process, and can save money when applied properly.
All week long, Federal News Radio presents a multimedia special report on the changing face of acquisition. Throughout the series, Inside the World’s Biggest Buyer, we hear from executive branch acquisition experts, lawmakers, auditors and industry experts on how the government can be a better buyer as it spends half a trillion dollars per year.
Some small businesses are calling into question the benefits of the Obama administration’s strategic sourcing initiative. They say the agencies are mandating the use of the office supplies BPA and putting more than 500 Schedule 75 holders at risk of losing their business. GSA, which runs Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI), said there still are plenty of sales to go around as the BPA accounts for less than half of the $1.4 billion office supplies market.
The National Institutes of Health has more than a decade of experience under its belt administering a governmentwide acquisition contract (GWAC).