G. Martin Wagner

Mr. Wagner was a Senior Fellow of the IBM Center for The Business of Government. Mr. Wagner joined the Center after 31 years of public service. He had most recently restructured and ran GSA's Federal Acquisition Service - the largest government organization delivering acquisition, technology, and management services to federal agencies.

What Agency Leaders Need to Know About Federal Acquisition

Most agencies in the U.S. government rely on products—goods and services—acquired through contracts to perform core functions, pursue agency objectives, and achieve mission success. In FY12, the federal government acquired $517 billion worth of products through contracts.

Eight Actions to Improve Defense Acquisition

In this report, the authors look back at history, noting that the Department of Defense (DoD) has made numerous attempts to reform its acquisition system over the last 50 years, but that these and similar reforms have pro­duced only modest improvements.

Transforming Acquisition for the Future

(This article was previously published by Government Executive and was written with Kymm McCabe of ASI Government.) The recent series of columns “3 Myths That Cripple Acquisition” stressed that acquisition transformation, not just reform, is critical to enable the federal government to effectively lead in the Collaboration Age. Now it’s time to chart a course forward toward such transformation. The expectation that government and acquisition should be zero-defect enterprises undermines innovation and constrains transformation by requiring layers of oversight and generating risk aversion.

Transforming Acquisition for the Future

(This article was previously published by Government Executive and was written with Kymm McCabe of ASI Government.) The recent series of columns “3 Myths That Cripple Acquisition” stressed that acquisition transformation, not just reform, is critical to enable the federal government to effectively lead in the Collaboration Age. Now it’s time to chart a course forward toward such transformation. The expectation that government and acquisition should be zero-defect enterprises undermines innovation and constrains transformation by requiring layers of oversight and generating risk aversion.

New Research Report Recipients

The Center for The Business of Government continues to support reports by leading thinkers on key issues affecting government today. We are pleased to announce our latest round of awards for new reports on key public sector challenges, which respond to priorities identified in the Center's long-term research agenda, see businessofgovernment.org/content/research-stipends. We expect the following reports to be published later in 2015. Short summaries of each report are included below.

Weekly Roundup January 23, 2015

The Rise of Shadow IT. According to Government Computer News, “Nearly three-quarters of IT security professionals are unaware of the amount of “shadow IT” within their organizations, according to a recent survey by the Cloud Security Alliance. . . .

Weekly Roundup: March 2-6, 2015

Social Impact Bond Legislation Introduced. Bi-partisan legislation creating a $300 million fund to pilot "pay for performance" grants has been introduced in the House, with similar legislation to be introduced in Senate. Acquisition Reform Underway. Much can be done administratively to fix the acquisition process, and Federal News Radio reports that OMB's Anne Rung has laid out a series of next steps to expand initiatives underway, such as category management. Shared Services Gains Some Friends.

Weekly Roundup May 15, 2015

OMB Deputy Director Beth Cobert discusses importance of #SES #leadership to government performance @ombpress.

Weekly Roundup: June 1 - 5, 2015

Sequestration’s Long Tail. Federal News Radio reports that the 2013 sequester led the Defense department to suddenly cancel contracts or delay the development or fielding of new systems. This led to hundreds of millions in longer-term additional costs, to be felt in upcoming years. Standardizing Administrative Leave. Federal News Radio reports that the Office of Personnel Management has released a memo outlining steps it will take to standardize how agencies will report administrative leave costs.

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