President Trump’s budget released last week does lay out his Administration’s spending priorities, as well as non-priorities. The current plan, though, will look little like the final version as Congress weighs in with its own ideas. Even Senate Armed Services chairman John McCain, a member of the President’s own party, said that the defense portion of the President’s budget is, “inadequate to the challenges we face, illegal under current law, and part of an overall budget Read more
Most individual federal offices will have their budget number for the rest of FY’17 by the end of next week. Buying activity should increase steadily through the summer. Contractors need to be ready to go, and not just with ideas and proposals. Chances are excellent that your federal customer already knows how they want to spend their money. Helping them shape their Read more
Part-time reader G. Watanabe writes, “I recently called on a new federal prospect, let’s call her Marlene, whose mission is a good match for my solutions. Unfortunately, Marlene had recently had a bad accident with weights and couldn’t wait for the meeting to end. What do I do next?” It’s a big federal market, G., and maybe you and Marlene weren’t meant to be. Different personalities and people with different ideas of what their mission is are facts of federal business life. Don’t take it personally. If you just plain cannot get along with someone, or Read more
Contractors can be forgiven if they’re on “information overload” right now. Let’s cut through the murk to three things that will actually impact your federal business now:
1. Money is coming: OMB is working with individual agencies to get them their final appropriations numbers for the rest of FY’17. Look for your customers to have their numbers around Memorial Day or shortly after.
2. All of this Washington chatter IS a distraction: The President’s troubles with the FBI, Russia, and a seemingly constant stream of “issues du jour” are distracting from important budget and policy work getting done according to executive and legislative branch officials. This is all extremely frustrating for contractors who prefer consistent strategic plans and discussions with people who can say “yes”.
3. Things are likely to stay this was for a while: This is your new normal. The Administration has made it clear that they won’t make appointments for many positions. We’ll be right back to government via CR in October. There may also be a showdown on spending priorities between Congress and the Administration that could include a shutdown. Believe it or not, the situation right now is as good as it gets. Plan accordingly.
The Interim Report of the Section 809 DOD Acquisition Reform Panel was released last week and contained such nuggets as the one in the headline. When there are potentially as many as 431 contract clauses that must be reviewed for possible inclusion in a simplified acquisition RFP, is it any wonder DOD acquisition needs to be streamlined? Among the interim reports other findings are that DOD is no longer the market driver for many of the things or services it buys. Read more