In addition to requiring a pre solicitation phase in all procurements over a certain threshold to be determined by Agency Contracting Head, I would recommend a more involved use of performance based acquisition practices for initial strategy adoption and O&M efforts in information technology. This includes the occasional coupling with incentive based contracting where appropriate. When these parts of the FAR are used effectively, contractors know what their requirements for success are and can deliver to greater satisfaction of the government customer, and often times when incentivized properly, ahead of schedule and/or under budget. At a recent industry forum I asked the speaker why, with so many issues in delivery there aren’t more contracting officers employing FAR part 37.6 and 16.4 and the response was that it is “too hard”. I understand the government currently has a relatively young acquisition workforce, however, middle and senior level managers must make an effort to lead the way and teach in innovative and “hard” contracting strategies and push program offices for better requirements and performance monitoring.
Idea No. 58