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Matthew Fleharty

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Blog Comments posted by Matthew Fleharty

  1. On 5/22/2017 at 8:44 AM, Melissa Rider said:

    All of you are welcome to be part of the solution.  If anyone would like to share your best practices and have them considered for insertion in the Section 809 Panel's submittal to Congress or there is a part of DFARS or FAR that is completely impeding your abilty to get work done, please submit your recoommendations, including what you think the final change needs to look like, to https://section809panel.org/contact/

    Be the change you want to see in the world!


    As someone who has provided inputs, particularly on the topic of simplifying and streamlining acquisitions, I was eager to read the panel's interim report; however, I was disappointed with the result.  Let's take, for example, the focus on clauses for Simplified Acquisition - I think the panel walked right into a distraction from more impactful issues and then focused on the lowest hanging fruits ($1 Coins and Texting While Driving clauses...).  Here are some brief thoughts in response and some that I've already provided through other means:

    • Most Simplified Acquisitions are commercial (run an FPDS-NG report to see) which means the analysis on page 23 is overstating the issue.
    • The biggest impediment to quicker Simplified Acquisitions is not selecting provisions/clauses for those acquisitions - any semi-proficient contracting professional should be able to review those particular prescriptions in less than a day as most of them are fairly straightforward.
    • I'm curious whether the panel has data other than the number of clauses and anecdotes that indicates selecting provisions/clauses for Simplified Acquisitions is a serious issue that extends the timeline to award - none was provided in the interim report. 
    • The panel should look into the acquisition workforce's under-use of FAR 13.5 procedures for eligible acquisitions - I imagine most acquisitions would be greatly simplified if they did not use FAR Part 15 Source Selection Procedures.  I hear complaints of complexity, but for many it is self imposed so they can get their "valuable Source Selection experience."

    One final thought about the call to action - if we're serious about seeing change in the acquisition world, let's be bold - one recommendation for Simplified Acquisitions would be to (a) increase the SAT and/or (b) tie the synopsis and publicizing of contract actions requirements in FAR Part 5 to the SAT.  I know those recommendations have been provided to the panel - maybe there is just so much input that they haven't had the opportunity to consider them yet, but I believe that time spent on substantive issues like those would be much more beneficial than discussions of $1 Coins and Texting While Driving.

  2. Don,

    Not sure if you're a subscriber or can access the article in some other fashion (if not, message me and I'll get you a copy), but the newest issue of Harvard Business Review has an article I think you'll find interesting in light of this post titled Why Leadership Training Fails - and What to Do About It by Michael Beer, Magnus Finnstrom, and Derek Schrader (https://hbr.org/2016/10/why-leadership-training-fails-and-what-to-do-about-it).

  3. On ‎8‎/‎22‎/‎2016 at 5:18 AM, Vern Edwards said:

    Perhaps the solution is for the government to fund some colleges to develop courses in government contracting and make them available online and to commission textbooks.

    I couldn't agree more - one of my first (and still frequent) questions when I entered this career field was for books that I could read to learn about contracting and how to do it well.  I was given the answer that most Government contracting professionals were likely given - "read the FAR;" however, the FAR is not very instructional, it's mainly just prescriptive/regulatory so reading it to learn "how to do X" is not terribly beneficial.  Therefore, I think having a well-written textbook or two would go a long ways towards improving the way we can educate this workforce.

    Vern, would you be interested in writing a contracting text instead of that horror novel I saw you mention? :P