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Recommended Reading - Part I

Posted by Vern Edwards, 25 January 2009 · 750 views

Here is an eclectic and idiosyncratic list of some things I found on the internet that may be of interest to my literate and intellectually curious professional readers. All are available free online. If a link doesn't work, Google the title and look through the results.

REPORTS/STUDIES

? Acquisition in Transition: Workforce Oversight and Mission ? This is from the point of view of a private sector business association.
Acquisition in Transition: Workforce Oversight and Mission

? A Call to Revitalize the Federal Government ? This is from the think tank, Rand, and should be of interest to all in light of our new presidential administration's goals. A Call to Revitalize the Federal Government

? Making Contracting Work for the United States: Government Spending Must Lead to Good Jobs ? Contractor employee advocates speak. Making Contracting Work for the United States

? The Challenge of Contracting for Large Complex Projects: A Case Study of the Coast Guard's Deepwater Program ? This could have been a lot better, but it does discuss some of the difficulties of complex contracting. The Challenge of Contracting for Large Complex Projects

POLICY DOCUMENTS/MANUALS

? DOD Instruction 5000.2, Operation of the Defense Acquisition System (2008) ? The lastest version of a perennial rewrite. In the immortal words of Newt in the movie "Aliens": "It won't make any difference." All the same, if you're in DOD you gotta read it. DOD Directive 5000.2

? Coast Guard's Major Systems Acquisition Manual ? A product, I think, of the Coast Guard's Deepwater experience. Should be of interest to all you major system contracting folk, of those who would like to be major system folk. Compare it to DOD 5000.2. Coast Guard's Major Systems Acquisition Manual

LEGAL PRIMERS

? Latin for Lawyers ? Not a grammar or language textbook. It's a wonderful glossary of Latin legal terms. It's hard to believe that this is free. Grab it while it still is. Latin for Lawyers

? The Reg Map: Informal Rulemaking ? A handy, one-page "map" of the process by which executive agencies promulgate regulations, including the FAR. A must-have for all contracting newbies. The Reg Map: Informal Rulemaking

? Reading and Interpreting Regulation and Statute ? Prepared by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, it's a brief description of the executive branch's rulemaking process. Handy for newbies. Reading and Interpreting Regulation and Statute

? The National Reporter System ? Can you decipher this: 60 F.3d 1572? Can you explain what "F.3d" refers to? If not, then you need this PowerPoint presentation from Thomson West, publisher of the Federal Reporter. The National Reporter System

RAND CORPORATION STUDIES

A new book refers to the scholar/analysts of the Rand Corporation as "soldiers of reason." Here is a list of some classic reports and memoranda by Rand scholars from the heyday of systems engineering. These are interesting reading for anyone interested in the challenges of thinking rationally about problems of choice, including whether to nuke your enemies. See Soldiers of Reason: The Rand Corporation and the Rise of the American Empire, by Alex Abella.

? On the Limitations of Quantitative Analysis ? The title speaks for itself. On the Limitations of Quantitative Analysis

? The Compleat Strategyst: Being a Primer on the Theory of Games of Strategy ? A nontechnical book about the theory of games. I stumbled upon this in the technical library of the Aerospace Corporation when I was just a young contract specialist trainee. I went to the library after hearing the senior trainees talking about "the prisoner's dilemma" and discussing whether or not negotiation is a "zero-sum game." Great fun. The Compleat Strategyst

? Assessing Alternative Transportation Systems ? If you want to understand the underlying theory of the source selection process with which we are all so familiar, this is the publication to read. An early treatise about what is now called decision analysis. Discusses evaluation criteria, scoring, and weighting. Assessing Alternative Transportation Systems

? Squishy Problems and Quantitative Methods ? Fascinating. (Source selection is a "squishy" problem.) Squishy Problems and Quantitative Methods

MISCELLANEOUS

? Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure ? Published by the Department of Defense Office of General Counsel (2006), it is an alphabetical listing of brief descriptions conduct by various idiots. It's occasionally hilarious. Personal favorite: Under the heading, Abuse of Position: "But, Judge, I didn't get anything." Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure

? Issac Newton's Principia Mathematica ? Just kidding. I wanted to see if you were paying attention. But I have been trying to read this for a long time, just so I can say that I have. So if you can explain how to decipher the diagrams, I would appreciate hearing from you. Principia Mathematica

? The Voysey Inheritance ? Have you heard of the Madoff scandal? (If not, what rock have you been sleeping under?) This is the original version of an early 20th Century play about just such a scandal. This is free. Amazon has an updated version by David Mamet, prepared for an off-Broadway revival of a few years ago, but you'll have to pay for it. The Voysey Inheritance






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