One of the best-known and constant voices traveling the airways in the D.C. region is the host of the Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Temin has been covering government contracting and innovation for 25 years, and over that time, some major things have changed.
“One is the procurement environment,” said Temin. First the Brooks Act controlled the procurement space, then the Clinger-Cohen Act, and now, “we’re in the FITARA period -the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act period,” he said.
“Each one of those changed how the government was organized to do procurement, and those brought a lot of changes. But throughout all that time, the technology has been changing,” said Temin.
Developments in mobile and cloud computing, Temin said, contributed to a huge wave of changes in government innovation.
However, other issues haven’t changed at all. “There’s still the same problems of negotiating with vendors, the length of time it takes to do acquisitions, the fact that the government at least perceives itself to be, often, a step behind industry, those things don’t change,” said Temin.
While government contracting does take up a large part of the economy in the D.C. region, it’s still very different from normal markets.
“All the rules are different… it’s a much more difficult market to get into. Once you’re in it, the people who are in it know it’s a good, stable, profitable market to be in,” he told What’s Working in Washington.
“I’ve probably conducted 7,000 interviews in my time here at Federal News Radio… and probably half of those have been with federal executives, federal practitioners, and there are just legions of really competent, hardworking people that do care about what they’re doing,” said Temin.
“The bad stories make the news, but I really believe them to be the minority,” he said.