Weekly Round-Up: October 13-17, 2014
John Kamensky Series of Articles on Procurement Reform. Federal News Radio asks: “Is it time for fresh procurement reform or just a rereading of existing law?” And its staff has responded with over a dozen stories over the course of the week, covering more discrete topics such as a 20-year timeline of reforms, pointers on program management, the importance of leadership and organizational culture, and more. A great collection, worth the time of anyone trying to understand the breadth of issues involved. Cathleen Garman, Designated Expert. As part of the Federal News Radio procurement reform series, Ms. Garman – a veteran Hill staffer on acquisition issues – observes: “Regular review of our acquisition laws and regulations is appropriate, and even necessary, in order to keep up with changing times and circumstances. Enacting new laws, however, isn't always the solution, unless we fully understand and analyze our past paths.” Standardizing Procurement Awards. Jason Miller, Federal News Radio, reports: “The Federal Acquisition Regulations Council issued a final rule Monday detailing the timeframe, by Oct. 1, 2017, and steps agencies must take to begin using the Procurement Instrument Identification (PIID) numbering system.” Risk Management Guidelines on the Way. Charles Clark, Government Executive, reports that OMB Controller David Mader announced at a recent event that “the Office of Management and Budget has been talking about risk management with agencies as well as private-sector specialists and plans to have governmentwide recommendations ready by the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2015.” Wanted: Digital Toolkits. Alan Pentz writes in Government Executive that federal executives need better digital toolkits to manage their agency’s websites, conduct analytics, access web metrics, and engage via social media. Michael Keegan OMB to require agencies to measure risk at the enterprise level. A chief risk officer (CRO) may be the answer to how agencies manage potential and real dangers. But whether or not agencies add another to the ever-growing list of CXOs, the White House will expect you to consider all the possibilities that may impede the mission success of individual departments. The Office of Management and Budget is set to release a memo or guidance in the second quarter of 2015 to set governmentwide expectations for how agencies will manage risk. Controller David Mader said lessons from implementing Circulars A-123 and A-11 could be expanded into agency mission areas. On DoD acquisition reform, Congress has yet to tackle cultural issues. Twenty-two years ago, what was then called the General Accounting Office issued a report lamenting the Defense Department's long history of cost and schedule overruns in its major weapons systems, but expressing optimism that the end of the Cold War made for a rare opportunity for culture change within DoD acquisition. After two decades of overhauls to procurement laws, GAO's diagnosis of DoD's acquisition weaknesses might as well have been written today. Then, as now, big programs tend to overspend their budgets and blow past their schedules because of unrealistic requirements and rosy cost projections. Over the past decade, the median developmental acquisition program exceeded its initial cost estimates by 31 percent, according to Defense Department data. 10 ways to improve program management. Perhaps it goes without saying that strong management is essential to driving successful project and program results. So is the transformation of ideas into action, and thinking into doing. But sometimes that process is easier said than done. More than 60 percent of executives say their organizations struggle to bridge the gap between strategy formulation and its day-to-day implementation, according to a report from the Project Management Institute (PMI). Poor performance results can be costly to budgets. When performance isn't up to par, PMI says organizations lose $109 million for every $1 billion they invested in the project. In day three of our special report, The Missing Pieces of Procurement Reform, we examine best practices for program and project managers that will lead to better and stronger acquisitions. The Business of Government Radio Show: Conversation with David Bray, Chief Information Officer at the Federal Communications Commission. What is the Federal Communications Commission information technology strategy? How is the FCC keeping pace with transformative IT advances? What is the FCC doing to advance its use of enterprise services and collaborative work options? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more with David Bray, Chief Information Officer at the Federal Communications Commission. Broadcast Schedule: The show airs Monday at 11 a.m., and Wednesday at noon, on Federal News Radio 1500AM WFED If you can't wait, though, you can listen to (or download) this week's program and all our previous interviews at businessofgovernment.org and by searching our audio archives.