Thank you, LinkedIn, for reminding me of Centre Consulting’s 12 year anniversary! As the congratulatory notes on this milestone came streaming in, I couldn’t help but think of all that has changed in federal contracting over the past 12 years. So, here’s my look back at 12 major trends throughout the past 12 years, in no particular order:
- GSA Schedules. GSA expands the schedules program to invite everyone, so his or her uncle and pet dog can become a schedule holder. Flash forward to today: GSA is now looking at closing some off and on ramps to limit the number of contractors and the number of contract vehicles.
- Pendulum swing from Best Value to LPTA. I now see a very gradual swing back towards “value” (realization is sinking in that “you get what you paid for”).
- Continuing In-Sourcing vs. Out-Sourcing debate. Onsite contractor support in the front end of the acquisition life cycle was prevalent at most agencies until insourcing was the in word with the current administration. Then, everyone was insourcing, now we are moving towards less insourcing.
- Spending. Large war budgets to big spending cuts.
- Federal Workforce. A decrease in the rate of federal hiring and a decade of shrinking workforces at many agencies have led to a decrease in the total number of federal employees.
- IDIQ Contracts. A massive proliferation to a movement that possibly fewer is better.
- “Grudge Match” FFP vs CPFF. And the winner is….FFP! For now… (I recall back to the 2005-2008 timeframe when companies refused to bid on FFP contracts – now they have no choice).
- OFPP’s Performance-Based Acquisition (PBA) – on the horizon years ago, and now a known process.
- Small Business Goaling program in federal procurement takes center stage, i.e., “think small”; small business participation is enforced on prime contract and subcontract level, on IDIQ and Task Order level. Speaking of small business statutory goals, they weren’t met then, and they still are not being met by most agencies now.
- GSA’s Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) moved from copiers to software licenses.
- Decreased defense / homeland security spending. Simply put, wars are ending.
- Training. We’ve gone from “fill the gap” periodically, to formal certifications, to low price check the box. In my opinion, you get what you pay for. See number two!
I’d like to hear your thoughts. What else you have seen in the last dozen years? Click here to vote for which of these you think has had the most impact on federal contracting. VOTE HERE. We will pick a participant at random to receive $50 off an upcoming training course as a thank you for your feedback! I will reveal the results of this mini-survey in my next blog that will focus on another hot topic: the VA. Stay tuned!