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Will a SOW, PWS, or SOO Work Best to Achieve Your Objective?

Posted by on Sep 25, 2019 in Acquisition, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Will a SOW, PWS, or SOO Work Best to Achieve Your Objective?

Traditionally, a Statement of Work (SOW) would be drawn up to provide every possible detail of the objectives, process, and assessment of an acquisition.
Then, the idea of performance-based work arose. Why not simply tell the contractor what you want the result to be and give them the freedom to accomplish it in the best possible way with a Performance Work Statement (PWS)?

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Ten Acquisition Communication Lessons from the OMB Myth-Busting Memos

Posted by on Aug 27, 2019 in Acquisition, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Ten Acquisition Communication Lessons from the OMB Myth-Busting Memos

From the start of solicitation development through debrief, effective communication is essential for the success of any government acquisition. Over the past decade, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued four “myth-busting memos” that dispelled widespread misconceptions that have gotten in the way of success. As Michael Wooten assumes his position as Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP), there is talk of making use of this creative communication method to further enhance engagement. Here is a quick summary of most of the issues that have been addressed in prior myth-busting memos:

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Federal Government Procurement & Contracting News: Essential Facts about the Transition from DUNS to SAMMI

Posted by on May 23, 2019 in Acquisition, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Federal Government Procurement & Contracting News:  Essential Facts about the Transition from DUNS to SAMMI

The Federal contracting times are changing and the transition from DUNS to SAMMI has begun. Here are a few nuggets of information for the acquisition communities pursuing Federal Government Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) training and certification.

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3 Key Influencers of the Federal Budget Process

Posted by on May 23, 2018 in Acquisition | 0 comments

3 Key Influencers of the Federal Budget Process

Understanding the budget process and how to work with decision-makers is important for stewards of Federal funding. From the onset, it’s critical to be familiar with the key influencers of budgets and their responsibilities.

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3 Ways Bid Protests Can Help Improve Source Selection

Posted by on Apr 16, 2018 in Acquisition | 0 comments

3 Ways Bid Protests Can Help Improve Source Selection

Anyone involved in the government contracting process can tell you that bid protests cause a great deal of anxiety. From the stress caused by the ding on performance evaluations to the automatic stay and the loss of revenue, neither the government nor private industry view a bid protest as a positive.

Despite the discomfort that bid protests cause, there is a positive that can be found in the action. The bid protest is probably the best learning tool that contracting professionals can utilize to refine their source selection methods.

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How and When Should Government Engage Industry?

Posted by on Mar 8, 2018 in Acquisition | 0 comments

How and When Should Government Engage Industry?

At the February 2018 ACT-IAC conference Lifting the Curtain: Requirements Development in Federal Acquisition and Reverse Industry Day, the question of when to engage industry emerged. The most controversial idea was presented by James William, Partner at Schambach & Williams Consulting. During Panel I- Behind the Scenes: Understanding the Government Requirements Gathering Process, Mr. Williams offered that government could invite industry to the table to assist in the creation of the statement of need and the evaluation factors. By engaging industry in the requirement development process, early and often, requirements will be better defined, better solutions will be offered, the evaluation process will be streamlined, the Procurement Acquisition Lead Time (PALT) will be minimized and the government will achieve best value.

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Three Initiatives to Help Improve the Acquisition Workforce

Posted by on Jan 10, 2018 in Acquisition, Workforce Management | 1 comment

Three Initiatives to Help Improve the Acquisition Workforce

As a new year begins, agencies are also making their resolutions. High on their list are ways to keep employees engaged, energized, and focused on meeting mission goals. These are the top three initiatives we’ve seen when helping our clients identify ways to improve the acquisition workforce.

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National Cyber Security Awareness Month: 3 Steps to Safeguarding Your Contracts

Posted by on Oct 24, 2017 in Acquisition | 0 comments

National Cyber Security Awareness Month: 3 Steps to Safeguarding Your Contracts

As another government fiscal year comes to a close, agencies are moving to the execution phase. For contracts that involve cybersecurity elements, acquisition planning, and contract administration have become increasingly more complex with the recent laws and regulations governing cybersecurity. With October designated as National Cyber Security Awareness Month, this is a perfect opportunity to review current and new contracts and self-audit existing cybersecurity management practices.

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Three Important Questions When Planning for IT Acquisitions

Posted by on Aug 30, 2017 in Acquisition | 0 comments

Three Important Questions When Planning for IT Acquisitions

The government spends approximately $80 billion on Information Technology (IT) acquisitions. How do you plan for IT acquisitions, and how do you make decisions about your IT spending?

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With Protests on the Rise, What Can Agencies Do?

Posted by on Jun 25, 2017 in Acquisition | 0 comments

With Protests on the Rise, What Can Agencies Do?

GAO’s statistics show that bid protests have been climbing for the last several years. Given the protest statistics, what can agencies learn from GAO decisions and how can they protest-proof their awards?

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In Search of CLPs: You Don’t Have to Look Far, But You Do Have to Look

Posted by on Jun 15, 2017 in Acquisition | 0 comments

In Search of CLPs: You Don’t Have to Look Far, But You Do Have to Look

Have you thought about your continuous learning requirements lately? Or is it something that you keep buried in the back of your mind until the last minute? If so, you’re not alone. But maybe it’s time to refresh your mindset for continuous learning.

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Federal Spotlight: Suzi Inman

Posted by on May 11, 2017 in Acquisition, Workforce Management | 0 comments

Federal Spotlight: Suzi Inman

Suzi Inman serves as Acquisition Management Specialist/Contracting Officer’s Representative at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Crane Division, in Crane, Indiana. She is also Vice President for Membership and Chapter Organization for Federally Employed Women (FEW). Here is our Federal Spotlight interview.

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3 Steps to Advance Your Contracting Career

Posted by on Feb 15, 2017 in Acquisition | 0 comments

3 Steps to Advance Your Contracting Career

What should you do differently this year to move forward on your path to success? While there are often roadblocks to skill development in the Federal acquisition and contracting workforce, here are three steps you can always take that will help you reach the next level.

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On the Horizon: The Status of Category Management

Posted by on Jan 27, 2017 in Acquisition | 0 comments

On the Horizon: The Status of Category Management

With the change in administration comes change in the Federal acquisitions horizon, and there is reasonable concern that the focus on category management could shift. However, while there is much on the new administration’s agenda, it looks like category management is here to stay—at least for now.

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Is Fear of Protests Guiding Your Behavior?

Posted by on Oct 20, 2016 in Acquisition | 0 comments

Is Fear of Protests Guiding Your Behavior?

We often hear students and agencies wanting to know how to avoid protests. I think we first need to establish that companies competing for government business have a right to protest when they feel the source selection was improperly conducted. We believe properly conducted debriefings that communicate why the losing offeror was not selected significantly help to prevent protests that offerors feel are the only way to obtain a fair explanation. Other explanations for protests have been argued but the fact remains that transparency in the debriefing can effectively dissuade protests. Of course, failure to document the rationale for your decisions will not help.

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NCMA World Congress 2016 Recap

Posted by on Aug 10, 2016 in Acquisition | 1 comment

NCMA World Congress 2016 Recap

Last week, I attended the National Contract Management Agency’s (NCMA) World Congress 2016. It’s the premier education event for contract management, procurement…

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NCMA World Congress 2016 – Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces

Posted by on Jun 30, 2016 in Acquisition | 0 comments

NCMA World Congress 2016 – Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces

After attending my first ever NCMA conference last year – the Government Contract Management Symposium (GCMS) – I made it my mission to secure a spot as a breakout…

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Fourth Quarter Preview: What is the SBA up to?

Posted by on Jun 24, 2016 in Acquisition | 0 comments

Fourth Quarter Preview: What is the SBA up to?

As we approach the fourth quarter of the fiscal year, we are coming upon the time of the year when the most simplified acquisitions and awards to small business…

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Five Things to Know about SBA’s Proposed Governmentwide Mentor-Protégé Program

Posted by on Apr 20, 2016 in Acquisition | 0 comments

Five Things to Know about SBA’s Proposed Governmentwide Mentor-Protégé Program

In case you haven’t heard, the Small Business Administration (SBA) plans to make a sweeping change to the Mentor-Protégé Program. Stemming from the Small Business Jobs…

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ACT-IAC Acquisition Excellence 2016 Recap – The Breakout Session Edition

Posted by on Mar 31, 2016 in Acquisition | 0 comments

ACT-IAC Acquisition Excellence 2016 Recap – The Breakout Session Edition

Earlier this week my colleague, Vi Zenone, discussed some of the outstanding things that occurred during ACT-IAC’s Acquisition Excellence 2016 event last week…

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Highlights from ACT-IAC’s 2016 Acquisition Excellence Conference

Posted by on Mar 28, 2016 in Acquisition | 0 comments

Highlights from ACT-IAC’s 2016 Acquisition Excellence Conference

When was the last time you attended a conference and the whole room burst into song? OK, don’t answer that out loud. Typically, for an event where public and private…

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Part Two: FPSW Labor Violations and Takeaways for Contracting Officers

Posted by on Feb 12, 2016 in Acquisition | 0 comments

Part Two: FPSW Labor Violations and Takeaways for Contracting Officers

Earlier this week I provided background on President Obama’s Executive Order on Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces (E.O. 13673) and discussed its impact on the Federal…

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Part One: Understanding Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces (FPSW) for Contracting Officers

Posted by on Feb 9, 2016 in Acquisition | 0 comments

Part One: Understanding Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces (FPSW) for Contracting Officers

Released on July 31, 2014, President Obama’s Executive Order on Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces (I call it FPSW – pronounced: fip-swuh) (E.O. 13673) has caused quite…

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Acquisition and Appropriations Law – Making the Connections

Posted by on Jan 20, 2016 in Acquisition, Financial Management | 0 comments

Acquisition and Appropriations Law – Making the Connections

There are many intersections between the two disciplines of Acquisition and Appropriations Law. Federal Acquisition managers more and more must have a fundamental…

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The FY16 NDAA Acquisition Provisions

Posted by on Jan 14, 2016 in Acquisition | 0 comments

The FY16 NDAA Acquisition Provisions

Last year, as we all brined our turkeys and prepared for the annual harvest feast, President Obama signed S.1356, the National Defense Authorization Act…

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NCMA GCMS 2015 Recap: Breakout Session Edition

Posted by on Dec 23, 2015 in Acquisition | 0 comments

NCMA GCMS 2015 Recap: Breakout Session Edition

Last week, I was fortunate enough to attend the National Contract Management Agency (NCMA) Government Contract Management Symposium (GCMS) for the first time…

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Gov-Scared!

Posted by on Dec 17, 2015 in Acquisition | 0 comments

Gov-Scared!

Phaedra Chrousos, Associate Administrator of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies at GSA captured the attention of an audience of about 900 people on Tuesday…

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Working as an Acquisition Team

Posted by on Dec 10, 2015 in Acquisition | 0 comments

Working as an Acquisition Team

Under the Guiding Principles in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), FAR 1.102-3 – Acquisition Team states that identifying the members of the acquisition team…

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Contracting Light Bulb

Posted by on Nov 12, 2015 in Acquisition | 0 comments

Contracting Light Bulb

Our acquisition community takes a lot of hits for failures in the information technology arena. We all know there are many more reasons for those failures than the…

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COR Competencies: The Art of Working Smarter, Not Harder for the Contracting Officer’s Representative

Posted by on Oct 30, 2015 in Acquisition | 4 comments

COR Competencies: The Art of Working Smarter, Not Harder for the Contracting Officer’s Representative

As a COR, you are the treasured resource on the acquisition team. For that reason, it is important that you are always improving your skills.

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Challenges in Acquisition Training

Posted by on Aug 10, 2015 in Acquisition | 0 comments

Challenges in Acquisition Training

I ran across this article in the July edition of NCMA Contract Management. It was written by a colleague of mine, Denean Machis. I found that it provided an…

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FITARA: Improvement or Impasse?

Posted by on Jul 6, 2015 in Acquisition, Project Management | 0 comments

FITARA: Improvement or Impasse?

Anyone associated with government IT acquisitions, project management, or systems operation is likely to be familiar with the recently passed (Dec. 19, 2014) Federal Information Technology…

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What Makes a “Practice” Best?

Posted by on Jun 16, 2015 in Acquisition, Project Management | 1 comment

What Makes a “Practice” Best?

During the Civil War (as the story goes) a Union Soldier’s widow approached President Lincoln to complain about her husband’s death. Her complaint was that…

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When is an RFI not an RFI?

Posted by on Apr 9, 2015 in Acquisition | 0 comments

When is an RFI not an RFI?

Answer: When the government mistreats it as a solicitation, which is a Request for a Quote (RFQ) (FAR Part 13), Invitation for Bid (IFB) (FAR Part 14), or Request for Proposal (RFP) (FAR Part 15)…

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The Struggle to Improve IT Acquisition

Posted by on Mar 13, 2015 in Acquisition, Project Management | 0 comments

The Struggle to Improve IT Acquisition

The Federal government wastes about half of the $80 billion per year it spends on IT. Agencies spend, on average, seven times more on IT…

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