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Archive for the ‘Contracting’ Category

05.08.2012 DorobekINSIDER: What the sale of GTSI means for IT contracting; Why video makes changes telework; and A Virtual Tour of the Newseum

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On Today’s Show for Tuesday May 8th, 2012

  • GTSI – the company has been a staple of government IT contracting… and it has now been bought. Insights and analysis about what happened and what it means from Nick Wakeman of Washington Technology.
  • Could video be the key to telework success? Maybe yes. Find out why.
  • The technology behind the Newseum’s new Media Gallery…could be used for government. You’ll learn how with HP.
Some big GovLoop news – Steve Ressler — Mr. GovLoop himself — is going to be a daddy. Of course, there are some great comments on Facebook… Ressler 2.0… many people saying how AWESOME it is. We are looking forward to the arrival in September. Congratulations to Team Ressler… and the player to be named later.Remember the bailouts? It appears that the government could actually turn a profit — $15 billion in profit — from the bailout of American International Group — AID. The Washington Post sites a report by the Government Accountability Office. GAO says the the Federal Reserve and the Treasury made available more than $180 billion in aid to the struggling financial giant in 2008 through a variety of mechanisms, including cash infusions. Since then, the Fed and Treasury have recouped all but $46.3 billion.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life for Tuesday the 8th of May,…

  1. We told you last week about how House Republicans were considering a bill that would  protect increased defense department spending. Politico says House Republicans have decided to push ahead with plans to protect increased defense spending without raising taxes, largely by cutting more from domestic programs, including aid to the poor. Politico says the bill won’t sit well with Senate Democrats, who are open to “buying down” a portion of the cuts but believe time, the law — and President Barack Obama — are on their side, unless Republicans show some movement on revenues.
  2. Feds will pay more for their pensions under a new House budget bill. The House Budget Committee approved a bill to avoid the automatic budget cuts scheduled for next year. Government Executive says the alternative budget plan heads to the full House for a vote later this week. Federal News Radio says the bill is designed to skip sequestration by overriding the Budget Control Act now in effect. The new bill includes a 5 percent hike in the amount federal employees contribute to their retirement costs. That raise would be phased in over five years. The White House has vowed to veto the bill should it come to the president’s desk.
  3. Merit Systems Protection Board’s [PDF] policies are getting a makeover. Federal News Radio says the board is looking at how the board is organized, how members make decisions and its practices and procedures for hearing and deciding cases. Chairman Susan Grundmann called the revision a “watershed event.” The agency has already gathered ideas from staff and outside stakeholders. It will publish a proposal in June to give the public time to comment.
  4. Former Federal CIO Vivek Kundra warns that Facebook could be the end of conferences as we know it. Kundra, speaking at at the Excellence in Government conference sponsored by Government Executive, said the federal government needs to use social networks to bring people together from all around the world, not more conferences. He says agencies — many of which are “multi-national” with foreign offices — establish online communities where U.S.-based staff, overseas co-workers and their customers can informally connect anytime, anywhere
  5. The House wants to clear up any confusion with the Pentagon’s new cybersecurity role. NextGov reports, House Armed Services Committee chairman Rep. Howard McKeon has called for legislative language to clarify that the Pentagon can launch secret cybersecurity operations to support military efforts and guard against network attacks. In a release of his draft bill of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2013, the Republican lawmaker pushed for a clause to confirm that the Pentagon has “the authority to conduct clandestine military activities in cyberspace.”
  6. Hackers for good? That’s the idea behind the new group of hackers called the Unknowns.Government Computer News says the group hacked into NASA and Air Force computers to help those agencies patch up security holes. In a blog post on Pastebin, the group said that unlike hacker group Anonymous, it is not against the U.S. government. The Unknowns posted the names and email addresses of government employees but then sent emails to those same employees telling them how they could protect themselves in the future.
  7. And on GovLoop, we’re asking you does your team resemble the Avengers? How many of you have been on a team with team members that resemble one of the Avengers? Take Tony Stark (aka Iron Man), for example. He’s a man who knows everything, has ego for days along with a complimenting sarcastic attitude; or Dr. Bruce Banner (aka The Hulk) a guy who struggles hard to hide his demon under a veneer of cool, and is a recluse (and not much of a team player) because of it; or Thor — the demi god who comes down with a big hammer and acts without complete information most of the time. What do you think? Does your team resemble this group?
A Few Closing Items:
  • Why is austerity so unpopular in Europe? The Washington Post says because, at least so far, it hasn’t worked. Europeans are rebelling against austerity. That’s the read on Sunday’s elections in Greece and France. But why do voters loathe austerity? Perhaps because, as economists have found, efforts to rein in budget deficits can take a wrenching toll on living standards, especially in a recession. And the Washington Post highlights a recent paper for the International Monetary Fund that looked at 173 episodes of fiscal austerity over the past 30 years. These were countries that, for one reason or another, cut spending or raised taxes to shrink their budget deficits. And the results were typically painful: Austerity, the IMF paper found, “lowers incomes in the short term, with wage-earners taking more of a hit than others; it also raises unemployment, particularly long-term unemployment”.
  • Meanwhile, what can be done to put GSA back together again? Federal Computer Week has a column from former GSAer Bob Woods who says there is reason for hope. While it could get worse before it gets better, Woods says this is an opportunity to look at how business has been done — and do a real assessment about whether there is a better way. And he says, streamlining GSA’s regions is one obvious step.

Written by jarvisdorobek

May 8, 2012 at 1:33 PM

03.20.2012 DorobekINSIDER: The changing government market; dealing with tech junk; opening up government legal documents

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Happy Tuesday.

Up front today… two interesting items that sure show how times are changing.

One… would would guess we would ever say Bon Jovi, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Urban Development together in one phrase? Well, welcome 2012. VA and HUD have unveiled a new federal app challenge designed to help homeless veterans quickly find shelter and other kinds of assistance. TechPresident reports that the mobile app will, essentially, act as a travel portal for homeless veterans. And Bon Jovi said that the idea for the project came to him after a volunteer at the JBJ Soul Kitchen in New Jersey asked for help finding a bed for the night.

The other story that shows how times have changes — or are changing and will change… Imagine if the CIA could spy using your washing machine… or dryer. Wired says that those intelligent household devices may be able to be tapped. And CIA Director David Petraeus has said that the Internet of PCs is leading to the Internet of things — devices of all types. And that could be tapped. And it is a legally gray area.

Ah, times have changed…

On today’s program…

  • The changing face of federal IT and its acquisition process.
  • What happens to hardware in your office when it’s no longer fit for service? Hit the dumpster? You’ll learn what GSA wants you to do.
  • The challenges of making legal documents available online. We’ll talk to a professor who has studied the issue.

All that ahead…

But after the break, we start off, as we do each day, with the stories that impact your life for Tuesday the 20th of March, 2012… your government world in 120-seconds…

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Written by cdorobek

March 21, 2012 at 8:07 AM

DorobekINSIDER: Amazon’s cloud coup: Frank DiGiammarino

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Frank DiGiammarino

Frank DiGiammarino

Amazon’s Web Service’s government arm has scored a coup — hiring Frank DiGiammarino, who left the White House late last year.

The DorobekINSIDER has confirmed that DiGiammarino has been named Amazon Web Service‘s director of innovation and global expansion for Amazon Web Services, which is mostly known for books but has been making a big play in the cloud — and in government. And that includes some smart hires. Last year, Amazon hired Teresa Carlson, who had led Microsoft Federal.

DiGiammarino left the White House earlier this year where he served as an advisor to the Vice President for recovery implementation and director of the Recovery Implementation Office. In that job, he was responsible to ensuring the $787 billion in stimulus got out into the economy as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Here he is at 2010′s Gov 2.0 Summit talking about the stimulus spendings impact on innovation:

DiGiammarino is widely respected, previously serving as the vice president of strategic initiatives for the National Academy of Public Administration, where he helped created the innovative Collaboration Project. The Collaboration Project was developed along with Lena Trudeau, who is now at the General Services Administration’s Federal Acquisition Service’s Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic Innovations. It was designed to be a place where government could collaborate around collaboration.

This is only the latest in some high profile people jumping into the cloud. Carlson joined Amazon Web Services last year, and Viveck Kundra, the former federal chief information officer, announced that he is joining Salesforce.com.

After the break… read DiGammarino’s full bio…

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Written by cdorobek

January 24, 2012 at 3:07 PM

DorobekINSIDER: All this shutdown talk — what’s the cost of that?

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Federal workers and contractors seemly have dodged yet another shutdown — I’ve actually lost count about how many there have been this year. (Federal Computer Week says there have been five.)

Last night, I was invited to the annual holiday party hosted by ASI Government, formerly Acquisition Solutions. Not surprising, the buzz of the night was about… the change of leadership at ASI Government — former Agriculture Department CIO Anne Reed stepping into the role of chairwoman after seven years, and Kimberly “Kymm” McCabe has taken over the role as ASI Government’s President and Chief Executive Officer…

McCabe specifically mentioned the end of the war in Iraq

But most of the focus was on… the then potential of a government shutdown. Last night, as the festivities were going on, there seemed to be progress toward a resolution, but it was only late last night that the sides announced they had found common ground. But there was still interesting discussion around the topic. One person — now in industry after a distinguished government career — said that the shutdown threat had almost become SOP. It has become standard operating procedure. Yet several govies showed up late specifically because they were working on shutdown contingency plans.

But 1105 President Anne Armstrong asked about the costs of all this.

The short answer is… there is no easy answer.

The Congressional Research Service actually looked at the shutdown issue back in September 1995.

The estimated costs of shutting down the federal government during a lapse in appropriations are incomplete and sketchy at best. That is especially true in the brief shutdown periods that occurred prior to 1995. In those federal shutdown experiences, the General Accounting Office (GAO) attempted to evaluate such government-wide costs, but incomplete and lack of response by various agencies hampered this undertaking. Certain limited costs have been identified over the years, however. GAO found costs of about $1 million resulting from having to issue split or late paychecks in October 1979 and approximately $1.1 million from having to prepare agency shutdown plans in 1980.

In 1991, GAO found that the estimated partial costs for the federal government shutdown over the Columbus Day Holiday week-end in 1990 was $1.7 million.

There have been two other CRS reports — one on September 27, 2010: Shutdown of the Federal Government: Causes, Processes, and Effects. The other is more of a round-up of information about shutdowns from April 8, 2011: Past Government Shutdowns: Key Resources.

Regardless, there was almost uniform agreement among government insiders that the shutdown threats, ongoing continuing resolutions and general budget upheaval have an enormous impact on the government’s ability to accomplish agency missions. (Going out on a limb there, aren’t we?)

To be honest, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has seemed to put forward 12 fairly reasonable principles for the discussion — regardless of political viewpoint.

The 12 principles are:

  • Make Deficit Reduction a Top Priority.
  • Propose Specific Fiscal Targets.
  • Recommend Specific Policies to Achieve the Targets.
  • Do No Harm.
  • Use Honest Numbers and Avoid Budget Gimmicks.
  • Do Not Perpetuate Budget Myths.
  • Do Not Attack Someone Else’s Plan Without Putting Forward an Alternative.
  • Refrain From Pledges That Take Policies Off the Table.
  • Propose Specific Solutions for Social Security, Health Care, and the Tax Code.
  • Offer Solutions for Temporary and Expiring Policies.
  • Encourage Congress to Come Up With a Budget Reform Plan as Quickly as Possible.
  • Remain Open to Bipartisan Compromise.

Find the September 1997 CRS report after the break…

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Written by cdorobek

December 16, 2011 at 2:02 PM

DorobekINSIDER: Pre-panel prep: Building a bridge between IT and acquisition

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Communication is difficult — any of us who have been married have learned this lesson the hard way — and we do it over and over again. And in organizations, it can be intensely difficult.I get to moderate a panel next week that looks at the issue of communication between agency IT and acquisition organizations. And improving that relationship cover four of Federal CIO Vivek Kundra’s 25 point IT management reform plan (PDF):
Align the Acquisition Process with the Technology Cycle
13. Design and develop a cadre of specialized IT acquisition professionals
14. Identify IT acquisition best practices and adopt government-wide
15. Issue contracting guidance and templates to support modular development
16. Reduce barriers to entry for small innovative technology companies
On Tuesday, April 26, I get to moderate a fantastic panel of luminaries to talk about the issues and challenges of bringing IT and acquisition. (More information about the 1105 Government Information Group’s Federal IT Acquisition Summit here.)

The panel:

  • Linda Cureton, Chief Information Officer, NASA Headquarters
  • Simon Szykman, Chief Information Officer, Department of Commerce
  • David Wennergren, Assistant Deputy Chief Management Officer, Department of Defense
  • Roger Baker, Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology, Department of Veteran Affairs
Read our discussion points… and add your thoughts… after the break…
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Written by cdorobek

April 21, 2011 at 5:39 PM

DorobekINSIDER: Deltek buys FedSources – launches clash of the Titans

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Get ready for clash of the Titans — the government market research edition.

Deltek, which bought market research firm Input earlier this year for $60 million, today announced that it bought long-time competitor, FedSources and it’s parent, the Washington Management Group.

According to the announcement, Deltek will acquired Washington Management Group, and its FedSources and FedSources Consulting businesses for $26 million in an all cash transaction.

WMG and FedSources have been rumored to be for sale for some time.

The big question: Why?

As Washington Technology noted after the Input buy:

The company’s goal is to meld Input’s contract data and market analysis with Deltek’s software, such as its customer relationship management offerings and its GovWin network for teaming and managing subcontractors.

Here is what the company is saying:

* Creating the industry’s broadest and deepest repository of government opportunity intelligence information.  For over 25 years, FedSources has delivered government contract research, agency spending analysis, and targeted opportunity information in key areas such as national security, information technology, and architecture and engineering to clients interested in winning Federal business.  By combining the rich opportunity intelligence from FedSources with the unique content, community and opportunity database from INPUT and GovWin, Deltek now delivers an unrivaled repository of government opportunities that represents over $500 billion in annual market value.

* Leveraging FedSources Consulting to deliver actionable, custom market analysis that better positions contractors to capture opportunities and grow their organizations.  Deltek’s research and consulting experts develop plans that position contractors to grow organically or through acquisition.  Our custom consulting engagements deliver pipeline development plans, opportunity-specific capture plans, and recommend acquisition candidates that align with contractors’ growth strategies.

* Offering comprehensive government schedule consulting to help companies find and keep profitable government contracts through The Washington Management Group.  Deltek drives growth for companies interested in capturing Federal business by developing strategies that will enable them to profitably enter the government market.  As part of these engagements, we work closely with companies to obtain and maintain both GSA and VA Schedule contracts.  Our engagements maximize revenue opportunities and minimize risk by ensuring compliance policies and programs are in place to enhance contract conformance.  In this way, we make it easier for companies to do business with the government and easier for the government to do business with key contractors.

It is certainly an interesting play — $65 million in market research. And this clearly pits Deltek squarely against the rapidly growing Bloomberg Government, which bought market research firm Eagle Eye about a year ago. BGov has been on a hiring spree building a formitable team of reporters and analysts. BGov has hired Allan Holmes, the former editor of NextGov and Federal Computer Week, to lead its technology coverage; David Rapp, another former FCW editor, and most recently, Bloomberg hired Anne Laurent, the widely respected former executive editor of Government Executive, BGov’s team covering government contracts and the companies that do business with federal agencies.

BGov insiders say that the goal is to build teams that focus on topic areas — and they will provide comprehensive reporting and analysis of those areas.

An interesting clash of the Titans.

Mark Amtower, the government marketing guru, told me that this brings together the contracting information and the consulting business in an effective way — and makes Deltek a very powerful player.

One of the more interesting questions: What happens with Coalition for Government Procurement. The Coalition has already been going through some changes. Long time executive director Larry Allen recently left to form his own consulting firm, and the Coalition is not mentioned in any of the releases.

After the break, read Deltek’s FAQ on the FedSources/WMG purchase.
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Written by cdorobek

April 1, 2011 at 8:32 AM

Posted in Circuit, Contracting

DorobekINSIDER: Reorg at GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service; O’Hare to retire

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Just before the end of the year, a significant reorganization coming to GSA’s acquisition leadership.

Ed O’Hare, Assistant Commissioner for the Integrated Technology Services (ITS) portfolio, who took the post in March 2009, will retire effective January 15, 2011, according to a memo by Steve Kempf , the commission of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service sent to employees today. Mary Davie, presently the Assistant Commissioner of FAS’ Office of Assisted Acquisition Services (AAS), will serve as the ITS portfolio’s next leader effective January 16, 2011.  ITS oversees some of the government’s biggest and most important contracts including the GSA schedule contracts, GSA’s governmentwide telecommunications contracts such as Networx , and GSA’s governmentwide acquisition vehicles , including the just announced Alliant.

Joe Jeu, Assistant Commissioner for FAS’ General Supplies and Services (GSS) portfolio, has accepted an opportunity to continue his career at another federal agency, effective January 2, 2011.

Kempf stressed that the Federal Acquisition Services has a deep bench of executives with extensive experience. Therefore, as part of those changes:

* As I mentioned, Mary Davie, presently the Assistant Commissioner of FAS’ Office of Assisted Acquisition Services (AAS), will serve as the ITS portfolio’s next leader effective January 16, 2011.
* Bill Sisk, presently the FAS Southeast Sunbelt Region Commissioner, has agreed to act as the GSS Assistant Commissioner effective January 2, 2011.
* Michael Gelber, presently the FAS Northwest Arctic Region Commissioner, will become the new FAS Pacific Rim Commissioner effective January 16, 2011.

The following people will act in these positions during the upcoming transition period:

* Tim Fleming, presently AAS’ Deputy Assistant Commissioner, will be the Acting Assistant Commissioner for AAS.
* Kelley Holcombe, FAS Deputy Regional Commissioner, will serve as the Acting FAS Southeast Sunbelt Region Commissioner.
* James Hamilton, the Northwest Arctic Region’s Director for Customer Accounts and Research, will serve as the Acting FAS Commissioner in Region 10.

Written by cdorobek

December 20, 2010 at 1:44 PM

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