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I read with interest Bob's posting of the Doan article "Pie Crust Promises: President Obama and Procurement Reform".

Several things stuck out, but the one that infuriated me was:

"That is why many of the government's contracting officers and procurement officials, this summer, staged a de facto work stoppage, in silent protest, by taking unusual amounts of leave and vacation time during the last, and busiest, months of the fiscal year. Procurements, as a result, have slowed to a crawl and the system has lurched to crisis. "

Where is her proof that this happened?

I know of no one who would deliberately place a procurement in jeopardy by either a "de facto" or a facto work stoppage "in silent" or loud protest. We (1102s) support federal procurements that impact the health and welfare of the people, environment, national security, etc of the United States. We take our jobs seriously and are, for the most part, dedicated to mission accomplishment, not mission failure. While the procurement system is additionally burdened by ARRA funding this fiscal year end, every 1102 that I personally know is rising to the occasion and getting the job done, not taking leave. I personally know of 1102s who are coming to work sick with fever and chills, working 16 hour days, and working weekends and holidays to get the job done prior to the end of the fiscal year.

Maybe the KOs and procurement official's Ms. Doan is talking about are at the upper echelons of the 1102 field because those of us in the trenches are working our butts off.

How dare she!!!

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Well, first, I don't think that Ms. Doan is exactly an objective source on the matter. She has demonstrated herself to be a partisan hack, both during her tenure at GSA, and since.

With that being said, considering how important the President indicated procurement reform was during the campaign, I think it is very unfortunate that no OFPP administrator has been nominated yet.

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Well, first, I don't think that Ms. Doan is exactly an objective source on the matter. She has demonstrated herself to be a partisan hack, both during her tenure at GSA, and since.

With that being said, considering how important the President indicated procurement reform was during the campaign, I think it is very unfortunate that no OFPP administrator has been nominated yet.

Civ_1102 - I agree with both of your points.

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I have to agree with Leo here, as my former office has been in an overtime, no leave without Assistant Director approval mode since July. My current office is not as busy as much of funding is multiyear, but there is still plenty of overtime and no leave without approvals in effect here as well at my Army PEO command.

I too would like to know Ms Doan's sources, and what agency that information came from, as it appears to be "spun" to meet someones agenda.

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I think a lot of 1102's took vacation time in late July and early August. They were too busy earlier spending the AARA money and needed to be back by September. So it was more like a crunch period to take off rather than a work slowdown.

1102's are extremely denicated and I can't imagine anyone in Ms Doan's position believing that.

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Let's also be realistic about the workforce here. I would guess that a good chunk of the 1102 community does not even know that OFPP even exists, nevertheless whether or not they realize it's been vacant this long.

I think there are some great candidates out there that currently work in the Government. For example, I think Shay Assad would make an excellent OFPP administrator.

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Civ_1102,

I agree with both of your points. She would be excellent in that role.

The problem with appointing a new Adminstrator is things will utimately change. The Administration dosen't know how to deal with that. Employee unions are concerned now about what the future holds. Insourcing means many new Federal employees, mostly of which will be untrained. Where will the people come from? While Congress hasn't been pushing it, A-76 is still around and can't be ignored. If it gets emphasized, that could mean fewer Federal jobs. What's the role of contractors? There are these questions and lots more that need answering.

The Administration seems to like the status quo of not appointing someone and just wait and see what happens.

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Formerfed - You don't have to "imagine"it. It's there in black and white with her photo for good measure. She said it because she believes it. Also, by late July and early August, many offices were already in mandatory overtime because of the influx of ARRA funding coupled with FY09 funded acquisition actions - this means no leave unless sick or emergency, no school, no nothing but work work work. Multiyear funded officers operate a little differently, but many annual O&M funded offices have been working overtime since May - it depends on the color of the money.

Civ_1102 - Would Mr. Assad be better in his current assignment or at OFPP? I'm DoD Army and will grin sheepishly and selfishly state that I want him to remain where he is doing the superb job that he is doing. How long as Mr. Drabkin been in his current assignment? Charisma is not a prerequisite of procurement excellence, but it sure can be a plus.

Dwgerard - Good point about the multiyear funded offices.

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I also think someone like David Drabkin at GSA would be great-he is especially charismatic, which would most likely be a good thing these days.

Well, if Drabkin took over, you'd very likely see changes. Years ago, in my Con 3?? something DAU class in DC, the Deputy Counsel to the OFPP Administrator and Mr. Drabkin were guest lecturers. It was obvious to me that he didn't agree with some of the Administrator's policies at the time.

From 1978 to 2001 Shay Assad worked for Raytheon. In 1998, Assad was Executive Vice President (Contracting), also serving as the Chief Operating Officer of Raytheon's Engineering and Construction business sector. He was the CEO at the time it was sold to the Washington Group in 1999. A simple Google search will lead you to much information about the aftermath of that deal...

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I see heavy rolls ahead as GovExec magazine just release a report that the adminstration is advocating abolishing the Federal Employees Health Benefit in favor of pushing us in state controlled health programs. Of course the word "state" in the proposed language is not defined as the federal government as a state or an actual state, but with so many lawyers running the show, I bet it means exactly what they want it to mean.

Heck if they are going to start using Federal employees, including the contracting workforce, for their political agendas, you may as well be whistling in the wind if you are hoping for anything like decisions that are good for improving contracting.

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Guest Vern Edwards
I also think someone like David Drabkin at GSA would be great-he is especially charismatic, which would most likely be a good thing these days.

So, charisma is what matters? Why would charisma lead to good things? How? What good things?

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Guest Vern Edwards
Would Mr. Assad be better in his current assignment or at OFPP? I'm DoD Army and will grin sheepishly and selfishly state that I want him to remain where he is doing the superb job that he is doing.

What has he done?

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Guest Vern Edwards

The biggest problems in contracting today are organizational and personnel problems, not policy problems. Go here to see the statutory functions of the OFPP Administrator: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/us...3&TYPE=TEXT. If the link doesn't work, find 41 U.S.C. 405.

The Administrator can promulgate policies, but has no authority to promulgate regulations unless DOD, NASA, and GSA cannot agree, and he or she cannot interfere with agency procurement functions. When the Administrator issued a policy letter in 1992 requiring DOD, NASA, and GSA to issue regulations to implement performanceb-based contracting within 120 days, they did nothing for five years. The only person who ever got anything done, really, was Steve Kelman, and his legacy will be debated for years. He was lucky to be fully and aggressively backed by Al Gore. I think he did many good things and some pointless things. But I don't think he made life as an 1102 better.

The OFPP Administrator is mainly one of leadership and coordination. Trying to lead agencies to make the organizational and personnel changes that need to be made would be like herding cats. Big, wild cats.

It seems to me that some of you guys want the very people who have presided over the world as it is and has been, and which you don't like, to change the world. Both of your candidates have more power in the roles they're in now than they would at OFPP. If they're all that great, they should stay where they are and change the world from there.

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Really? What changes? How would they come about?

Based upon my impressions from several years ago, as well as a couple hours listening to him in the DAU class, Mr. Drabkin has a more liberal view of the FAR and perhaps Procurement Statutes than the OFPP did.

The GSA has "streamlined" government contracting with the various government-wide Part 8, ID/IQ contracts, its for fee business enterprise centers (or whatever they are called), etc. I don't know if he was responsible for or had anything to do with the contracting debacles where centers were taking on all types of customers and issuing all types of orders beyond the scopes of their contracts, but they were certainly using some "out of the box" thinking...

I'd say that his philosophy would be projected in any role that could affect Government-wide acquisition policy.

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Guest Vern Edwards
I'd say that his philosophy would be projected in any role that could affect Government-wide acquisition policy.

By what mechanism would the projection of his "philosophy" come about? How would that philosophy, whatever it might be, work its way down to the working level 1102? The OFPP Administrator cannot make regulations and has a miniscule staff.

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Why do you think so?

He wants to improve the acquisition workforce. I remember he kicked off a big thing a few years ago to assess the skills and comptencies of DoD employees. He also knows that experiened people are leaving and the newly hired replacements will need training. I see him as someone who can make that a priority.

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Guest Vern Edwards
He wants to improve the acquisition workforce. I remember he kicked off a big thing a few years ago to assess the skills and comptencies of DoD employees. He also knows that experiened people are leaving and the newly hired replacements will need training. I see him as someone who can make that a priority.

I don't know what "improve" means, but how would anyone do that as OFPP administrator, who has no authority over personnel? A lot of people what to do a lot of things. The question is how to do it.

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