NUMBER OF VACANCIES MAY SLOW BUSINESS
Normally we’d write about the absence of hundreds of political appointees in “permanent” roles at the end of an administration. These, however, are not normal times. Not only does the high-profile churn of senior officials at the Pentagon and DHS cause a distraction, the fact that many positions weren’t filled in these or other agencies in the first place has left sizeable holes in the fabrics of multiple agencies. It’s an established fact that large numbers of feds in “acting” positions slow the pace of business. Right now there are enough “actors” in place to film a David O. Selznick production. While senior career officials know their agencies well and are generally quite competent, there is a limit to how much a person in a temporary position will commit their agency to. This makes business more difficult to conduct, no matter how good your relationships are. Unfortunately, though, there is no end in sight. We’re in the third year of a four year presidential term and it is unlikely that a slew of new appointees are on the horizon. More likely is that more and more appointees will begin to depart the closer we get to 2020. Not only does this impact business, but positive change on policy and management issues that contribute to the conduct of that business. Experienced contractors may be able to find ways around, over, or under barriers to new business. Make sure your GPS is tuned up.