If government procurement is broken, fix it – Plus the 7 Gov Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • 70 percent of federal employees do not believe promotions in their work unit are based on merit, and only 43 percent of employees surveyed feel as though they are recognized for doing a good job. Something needs to change in the civil service – and it needs to happen now. Insights from Tom Fox, from the Partnership for Public Service.

You can find all of our programs online: DorobekINSIDER.com and GovLoop Insights at http://insights.govloop.com.

But up front: If government procurement is broken - then fix it

There is a new way to try to help “streamline” the government procurement system. The Chief Acquisition Officers Council and the Chief Information Officers has posted an open dialogue on improving the procurement system.  

The effort focuses on three areas: reporting and compliance requirements; procurement rules and practices; and participation by small and minority businesses, new entrants, and non-traditional government contractors.

Participate at cxo.dialogue.cao.gov.

Open Dialogue on Improving How to Do Business with the Federal Government

We are looking for ideas on how to streamline and make other improvements in the way businesses of all sizes work for and with the U.S. Federal government.

The purpose of the dialogue is to discuss improvements to the Federal contracting process. Through this platform, we will gather ideas and proposed improvements that can be accomplished through executive (regulatory, administrative, or management) action, as well as potential legislative proposals (new laws). The open dialogue is focused around three topics (campaigns). Each campaign is a unique aspect of the Federal contracting process for which we welcome your insight, ideas, and feedback.

Please remember to check back frequently to comment on or share thoughts on emerging ideas and identify those you believe to be most impactful.

  • Campaign 1: Reporting and compliance requirements

    • Currently, the Federal Government requires businesses to fill out a lot of complicated paperwork to do business with us. We know we can do better. We want to know what you are seeing – where can we reengineer paperwork and systems, eliminate duplicative reporting, reduce the frequency of reporting, and/or change outdated requirements?

  • Campaign 2: Procurement rules and practices

    • We know entities doing business in the private sector have best practices and we’re anxious to learn about and replicate in the Federal Government wherever possible. We want to hear about innovative approaches to contracting that align with your business practices.

  • Campaign 3: Participation by small and minority businesses, new entrants, and non-traditional government contractors

    • We know many businesses lack the resources and expertise to participate in the Federal marketplace. We welcome feedback – especially by entities that are not participating in Federal contracting – to understand what steps we can take to make your participation possible.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. FedNewsRadio: GSA's new contracting policy tackles IG's concerns about management interference - “The General Services Administration is attempting to clarify to managers and vendors alike the proper approach to overseeing the schedules program. A February memo and policy is part of the way GSA's Federal Acquisition Service is trying to address a 2013 inspector general report that found examples of improper management interference on decisions by contracting officers under the schedules program.”

  2. GovExec: Feds Won’t Be Able to Escape Their TSP Debt, Even By Leaving Government - “A final rule issued by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board will allow the agency -- starting May 27 -- to require private-sector employers to deduct up to 15 percent of an employee’s paycheck to pay back debts owed to the agency. The wage garnishment can continue until the debt is paid back in full.”

  3. Federal Times: Feds See Innovation Decline in Government - “Support for innovation is declining across the government, according to a report by the Partnership for Public Service released April 23. Federal employee answers to three innovation-related questions on the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey dropped from 61.5 out of 100 in 2012 to 59.4 out of 100, according to the report, produced in partnership with Deloitte.”

  4. Federal News Radio: DHA Sets Sights on Big Savings with Joint-First Strategy - “The Defense Health Agency is predicting savings of more than $2.4 billion in the next five years by reducing duplication between the services through consolidation and common business practices.”

  5. FederalNewsRadio: Budget Pressures Shrink Federal Contract Spending by 11 Percent - “Following a year of widespread budget uncertainty, federal contract spending fell by 11 percent, according to a new analysis by Bloomberg Government. All told, agency contract spending tumbled from $516.3 billion in fiscal 2012 to $462.1 billion last year, the report found.”

  6. NextGov: New Website Helps Vets Find Jobs, Employers Search Resumes - “The Veterans Employment Center, announced Wednesday by First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, includes a resume builder and a military skills translator, according to a White House press release. It will allow employers to use either LinkedIn or a Google profile to run specific resume searches to find the precise skills they're seeking. It will also help employers track their progress toward veteran hiring goals.”

  7. Federal Times: GSA Gears Up for Next Phase of GHS Consolidation - “The General Services Administration is gearing up for the next phase of its consolidation of the Department of Homeland Security into one location, according to a presolicitation posted on FedBizOpps. GSA is issue a request on or around May 7 for proposals for design and construction services for the historic Center Building on the campus of the former St. Elizabeth’s hospital in southeast Washington, D.C. The building would house the DHS secretary and related administrative functions. The estimated construction cost is between $100 to $130 million and the project will not exceed 20 months, according to the presolicitation.”

DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder... yes, we’re trying to help you make your water-cooler time better too...

  • Are You Ready to Lose Control? [Strategy+Business] Control: It’s the essence of management. We’re trained to measure inputs, throughputs, and outputs in hopes of increasing efficiency and producing desired results. In a world of linear processes, such as in the factories of the Industrial Age, that made sense. But in today’s knowledge economy, where enterprises are complex, adaptive systems, it’s counterproductive.  The real problem is confusion between control and order.

  • How to Get a Job at Google, Part 2 [The New York Times by oped columnist Thomas J. Friedman] : How’s my kid going to get a job? There are few questions I hear more often than that one. In February, I interviewed Laszlo Bock, who is in charge of all hiring at Google — about 100 new hires a week — to try to understand what an employer like Google was looking for and why it was increasingly ready to hire people with no college degrees. Bock’s remarks generated a lot of reader response, particularly his point that prospective bosses today care less about what you know or where you learned it — the Google machine knows everything now — than what value you can create with what you know. With graduations approaching, I went back to Google to ask Bock to share his best advice for job-seekers anywhere, not just at Google. Here is a condensed version of our conversations: You’re not saying college education is worthless? “My belief is not that one shouldn’t go to college,” said Bock. It is that among 18- to 22-year-olds — or people returning to school years later — “most don’t put enough thought into why they’re going, and what they want to get out of it.”

  • 10 Innovations From the 1964–65 World’s Fair That Didn’t Work Out (and 5 That Did) [New York Magazine’s Intelligencer]: Disappearing appliances, “electronic photos,” and It’s A Small World

  • Twitter’s Redesign Is Live. Here’s How to Make the Most of It [Wired]

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