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FITARA FALLOUT: AGENCIES MAY RE-ORDER IT SPENDING PRIORITIES

Many federal agencies received poor grades on their initial Federal Information Technology Reform Act (FITARA) “report card” last week and may be re-thinking IT spending priorities as a result.  Congressional overseers, for example, do not believe that agencies have made enough effort to consolidate data centers and will be grading them on this, and other FITARA priorities.  Don’t think this is worth your time? Read more

KEEP YOUR INNOVATION IDEAS COMING

Line level federal managers report that they are still being asked for bold and innovative ideas on how to improve the federal acquisition system, despite the fact that the current Administration has only about a year left to effectively implement any of them.  Apparently, the drive to streamline acquisition processes remains. It is notable that today’s federal acquisition environment is increasingly seen as a Read more

REMEMBERING OUR VETERANS

Some say that Veterans Day is an “inconvenient” holiday, falling as it does on November 11th each year and not on a moveable Monday.  The tendency is to work right through it.  Our veterans, however, incurred more than “inconvenience” in defending our freedoms and those of people in many other places.   On Wednesday this week let’s take some time to stand down and give thanks for their service and sacrifice.  Whether it’s the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, or some other time that day, there is nothing inconvenient about thanking those who make our way of life possible.

THREE REASONS WHY CONTRACTORS SHOULD CARE ABOUT THE BUDGET DEAL

Congress passed a new budget deal last week that, while it does not actually appropriate more money yet, does solve many other problems.  Here are three reasons you should care:

1. More Money:  The budget deal provides $32 billion more in discretionary spending than was available in FY’15.  Specific opportunities include over $400M for Social Security IT and consulting opportunities at the Department of Energy.

2.  No Sequestration – For Now:  The budget deal removes sequestration spending caps for FY’16 and ’17.  This means agencies and their contractors will be able to do some planning and have a reasonable business cycle, just as soon as Congress passes appropriations measures in December.

3.  No Debt Ceiling Hassle:  Congress also increased the federal debt ceiling as part of the budget deal.  This means that your customer won’t be in a state of uncertainty coming into November, meaning more business can get done.  Companies that need to borrow money will also see better rates than if the debt ceiling hadn’t been raised.  All of this is positive, but keep in mind that the government is still operating under a CR until December 11th.  Congress must appropriate money before that time to avoid a shut-down.  It wouldn’t be Halloween without something scary!

SENIOR LEADERS SAY “INNOVATE”, EXPERIENCE SAYS SOMETHING ELSE

Let’s stipulate right up front that Allen Federal supports innovation in the federal market.  Whether it’s improving IT solutions or how the government actually buys services and products, innovative solutions that improve over the status quo are a good thing.  Recently, a group of federal leaders spoke out in favor of innovation as well.  So, no problem, right?  Unfortunately, innovation “talk” doesn’t always match innovation “walk” and government contractors must understand the difference if they’re going to be successful.  Read more