Smart Contracting Calls for Risk Taking, According to Panel Theme

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Photo: nonprofit-advocacy.com

Smaller budgets calls for more creative means and smart contracting.

This was the topic at a recent discussion in Washington, where some called for the acquisition workforce to take the necessary risks to enable innovation, according to a Government Executive report.

The discussion, co-chaired by Reps. Rob Wittman (R-Va.), and Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and entitled “Innovation in a Budget-Constrained Environment,” included the Congressional Smart Contracting Caucus, acquisition officials and private sectors spokespeople.

With new budget difficulties, David McClure, associate administrator at the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies at the General Services Administration, indicated that this raises the bar for agency contractors and also presents “opportunity to use technology to get more bang for the buck,” according to the report.

McClure sees a shortage of contract officers as well as a lack of skill in those that are in position. A time with new innovation opportunity and increased dialogue is also a time to increase mentoring and training.

McClure also said pre-contract dialogue would allow industry to partake in discussing best practices and ideas could be eligible for specific prizes.

Stan Soloway, president and chief executive officer of the Professional Services Council, indicated there is an obvious shortage of contracting officials as well. He said that this is an area where funding and personnel should be increasing, according to the report.

He furthered McClure’s claim that there should be an increase of focus on training personnel by saying that good acquisition calls for additional personnel such as pricing specialists and program officers that have an understanding of, “mutually strong business relationships.”

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