VACANCIES MAY SLOW UPDATES/INNOVATION
CNN, Bloomberg Government, and The New York Times have all reported in the past week on the slew of vacancies still to be filled by the Trump Administration, slowing forward movement on a host of government functions, including acquisition. CNN estimates that nearly 2,000 appointee positions are unfilled, with most not even having a nominee identified. Max Stier, President of the Partnership for Public Service perhaps best summarized the impact on government saying, “Uncertainty is the bane of good management. And there’s an awful lot of uncertainty right now.” Stier went on to liken the hundreds of “acting” officials to substitute teachers. While they may be good educators, Stier said, “they have no perceived authority to solve things, they don’t set the lesson plan, and you also don’t build the same kind of rapport with your peers across government…” Many contractors have reported that, the further along FY’17 progresses, the slower their business becomes as temporary people hesitate to move on all but the most essential or routine tasks. While some of this is likely to improve in the fourth quarter, when DOD and parts of DHS will have new money, the slow pace of change is frustrating. There is likely no easy fix here other than an adjustment to the current reality.